Earnest Partners with GRPAA on Student Debt Refinancing

The goal of the collaboration is to expand awareness of refinancing as a potential solution for those looking to simplify their student loan payments and get a lower interest rate.

Financial services technology provider Earnest has announced a new collaboration with Global Retirement Partners Advisors Alliance (GRPAA), through which the firms will provide student loan refinancing options for GRPAA clients.

“One in five adults carries student loan debt in America. That’s an estimated $1.6 trillion,” says Susan Ehrlich, CEO of Earnest. “With GRPAA, we hope to expand awareness of refinancing as a strong solution for those looking to simplify their loan payments and get a lower interest rate based on improvements to their financial profile.”

The nearly 600 advisers who are part of GRPAA serve about 25,000 retirement plans and 3.6 million participants. According to its leadership, the consortium of advisers is “particularly aware of the balancing act between paying off debt and saving for the future” playing out among its sizable client base.

“We have seen our participants, especially Millennials, struggle to put money into their company retirement plans because they are focused on paying off their student loans,” says Jeff Kayajanian, managing partner at GRPAA. “By not contributing, they miss out on the tax deductibility, tax deferred growth and company match for those assets.”

Beyond this announcement from GRPAA and Earnest, other retirement plan service providers have recently launched similar solutions. For example, MassMutual is now offering student loan refinancing through the workplace. Its refinancing program is powered by CommonBond, another financial technology company, and is available to 2.6 million people who have access to MassMutual’s retirement plans, voluntary benefits or both. As of late 2019, the Morgan Stanley at Work financial wellness platform also includes student loan refinancing capabilities and expanded debt coaching.