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Companies Are Trying to Lure Customers With Offers of Student Loan Help


Companies have finally woken up to a huge and potentially profitable market: Student borrowers.

Gradifi, a Boston-based startup that works with employers who pay down a portion of their employees’ student loans, and Radius, an online-focused bank, announced Tuesday that they’re partnering to offer a debit card that will give users 1% back on all of their purchases toward their student loan. The card will be available this fall. In a separate announcement Tuesday, Fidelity Labs, an in-house incubator at Fidelity Investments, unveiled the pilot version of a student loan help tool they’re developing. [...]

“There’s definitely a market for trying to help people manage their student debt,” said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. “As long as we don’t deal with this on a policy level you’re bound to see more financial institutions and other companies use student debt as a hook get customers.”