Gradifi partners with Radius Bank to offer MasterCard to ease student loan debt

Gradifi founder Tim DeMello doesn’t have an outbound sales team. That’s how big the student loan problem is.

When Boston-based Gradifi first launched its student loan paydown plan, 456 companies reached out wanting to sign up for the benefit.

Employers want to attract and retain employees and, unfortunately, one of the best ways to do that right now is by offering student loan assistance benefits. Small businesses and enterprises can use Gradifi to contribute money toward the student loan debt of employees.

Gradifi has 20 companies registered and another 80 scheduled for on-boarding through Q4 2017. PricewaterhouseCoopers signed on to Gradifi in January. Nearly $150 million in student loans are registered on the Gradifi platform.

Today, Gradifi is launching a partnership with Radius Bank to allow MasterCard Debit Card users to earn 1 percent cash back for student loans. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if someone spends $2,500 a month on their debit card they will earn back $25 a month. Over the life of a 120-month student loan, users will earn $3,000 to be paid toward student loan debt.

Gradifi is exclusively backed by angel investors and has expectations to be cash-flow positive by the end of 2017. The company signed a partnership with MasterCard for 1.1 percent cash back and uses the difference between the 1 percent offered to pay overhead and operational expenses.

The team has expanded from three to 30 employees over the last year.