Edukate, a financial wellness platform, is collaborating with Gradifi, an employee benefits platform that helps people pay down their student loan debt and save for college.
For Edukate, this is the first step towards a fully-integrated financial benefits platform for employers.
Gradifi’s SLP (Student Loan Paydown) Plan allows employers to make a regular contribution to pay down an employee’s student loan debt. Gradifi Refi gives employees immediate access to leading student loan refinancing lenders with exclusive offers, at no cost to the employer, to help employees reduce monthly payments and get out of debt faster. Gradifi’s College SaveUp Plan allows employers to make contributions to employees’ 529 college savings plans to ease the stress of paying for a child’s education.
The firms say this partnership timing is right and relevant given the recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) private letter ruling approving a student loan repayment benefit within a 401(k) plan.
An IonTuition study found 87.7% of respondents believe employer-sponsored student loan contribution programs are significant. In addition, results of the latest OneAmerica client plan participant survey show student debt is a widespread challenge facing U.S. workers as they contemplate retirement savings.
Edukate’s 48,000 users can engage with Gradifi’s solutions once their employer adds the benefit to their platform.
“Edukate has always sought to solve the problems that cause the financial stressors most employees experience each day,” says Chris Whitlow, founder, and CEO of Edukate. “Our platform is built to amplify employer financial wellness efforts through engagement, scalability, and integration of current benefits. We also know that student loan debt contributes to financial stress for a significant portion of our user base, but with Gradifi, we can now connect employers to an integrated benefit that will address these employee’s needs.”“Through offering student loan repayment options, we aim to decrease employee turnover and give employers an edge in recruiting and retention,” says Meera Oliva, chief marketing officer at Gradifi. “Integrating with Edukate will expand our reach and offer numerous employers the chance to ease employee stress through contributing to student debt payments or a 529 savings plan.”