BOSTON, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Gradifi, the industry's first Student Loan Paydown Plan™ provider, today announced that through a partnership with Citizens Bank, it will offer student loan refinancing services to its customers and Paydown Rewards™ Members. Citizens Bank estimates that those who have refinanced their student loans with them have saved an average of $137 per month and lowered their rate by 1.5 percent. In addition to monthly savings on their student loan payments, Members who take advantage of refinancing via the Gradifi platform will also earn additional Paydown Rewards to help them get out of debt even faster.
"We have been approached by many potential student loan refinance partners, but Citizens Bank brings a great set of products with the stability of a bank that is committed to an exceptional customer experience," said Gradifi Founder and CEO Tim DeMello. "We're really excited to have Citizens Bank join us in the effort to help employer clients and their employees get to a better place. The Gradifi Employer SLP repayment program can generate up to $10,000 in savings which is powerful in its own right, but becomes even more powerful with a Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan which can create an additional $1,644 in annual savings. Over many years, the two programs together create an enormous potential savings for our members."
This partnership is a key expansion of Gradifi's free integrated Member Paydown Rewards platform that will allow its members to earn rewards that are automatically used to pay down their student loan debt. Members can receive Gradifi's Employer SLP Plans™ (Student Loan Paydown) contributions, refinance existing loans and earn rewards in a variety of ways through a cohesive, single-member experience. Gradifi will continue to roll out additional Paydown Rewards programs over the coming months.
Citizens' Education Refinance Loan can enable qualified borrowers to consolidate and refinances federal and private student loan debt, to trim monthly payments or reduce interest rates, making loans more affordable. Education Refinance Loan borrowers have saved an average of $1,764 per year.
"While a college education is one of the best investments a young adult can make, paying for it afterward while trying to achieve other financial milestones can be difficult," said Citizens Bank President of Consumer Lending Brendan Coughlin. "Citizens is committed to working with borrowers to help them reduce their payments and we are pleased to partner with Gradifi to help more borrowers achieve their broader financial goals."
Gradifi's SLP Plan, announced in 2015, gives businesses the opportunity to help eliminate the $1.3 trillion student loan problem and pay down employees' student loan debt. Companies contribute directly – through structured and secured channels – towards their employees' student loan principal on a monthly basis. These contributions can take years off student loan balances – potentially shaving three or more years off of a 10-year loan.
Gradifi is a Boston-based student loan paydown provider with the first innovative solution to the nation's $1.3 trillion student loan debt problem. The company was founded in 2014 and is led by a management team that brings decades of combined experience in consumer financial services and entrepreneurial ventures. By partnering with companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop employer SLP Plans™ (Student Loan Paydown), rewards programs and brand loyalty programs, Gradifi is shifting the focus on student loan debt – from burden to empowerment. To learn more about Gradifi, visit www.gradifi.com or ="https://twitter.com/@gradifi" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">twitter.com/@gradifi.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions, with $138.2 billion in assets as of December 31, 2015. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers "bank better" with mobile and online banking and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance.
Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania as Citizens Bank, Citizens Commercial Banking and Citizens One. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.
 * Average savings based on 33,437 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 6, 2014 and March 31, 2016. The borrower's savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower's overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
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