Steve Sylven, Vice President Media Relations at Citizens Financial Group, told Loyalty360 that he wants to allow customers to be able to bank better. Through a partnership with Gradifi, Sylven believes customer engagement will increase due to expanded options for them.

Gradifi, the industry’s first Student Loan Paydown Plan provider, will partner with Citizens Bank to 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 rates by 1.5%. 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.

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, and 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.

“At Citizens, we are driven by our Bank Better program to make banking simple, clear, and personal,” Sylven explained. “With Bank Better, we have a simple but important goal: Make it easy for our customers to ‘bank better.’ And, we want to always be improving our ability to meet the needs of our customers by enhancing the bank’s products and services for Citizens Bank customers.”

Sylven noted that the Citizens Education Refinance Loan is a good example of helping customers bank better.

“Created to meet customer need, we launched the Education Refinance Loan to create a new option for students looking to refinance their student loan debt,” he said. “Once a borrower leaves college, their personal situations change as many attain a career and establish credit, and we believe the terms of their student loans should be able to change as well. The partnership with Gradifi will allow us to reach even more borrowers and help them reduce the payments on their student loans.”

Tim DeMello, CEO of Gradifi, told Loyalty360 that customers will now be able to save $100 per month through the Employer REPAYMENT plans, and more than $100 per month with the Citizens REFINANCE program.

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