Does Penn help employees buy a car and a house?

Dear Benny,
New year, new me. My new year’s resolution is to buy a car and a house. Do Penn employees get any perks?
Sincerely, Ready for Change

Dear Change-maker,

Those sound like great, transformative goals for the year. Yes, indeed, Penn offers certain assistance when doing either. As far as a car goes, one of the many benefits of working at the University or in the Health System is being qualified for Ford and General Motors (GM) discount programs.

Both suppliers offer Penn employees and their families prices below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Eligible vehicles can be purchased or leased.

Ford and GM’s programs differ a bit. Take the time to visit each website at and, respectively, for more information. Human Resources’ roundup of the programs is at

While on the hunt for the perfect whip, feel free to try out Zipcar. The car-share service has partnered with Penn to offer a special membership rate. For more information, visit

Buying a house is a huge commitment, but it can be fun, too. Penn Home Ownership Services (PHOS) offers University and Health System employees the opportunity to apply for closing cost assistance for home purchasing and funds toward home improvement. It also offers online and in-person resources at its office at 3401 Walnut St., suite 440A.

Visit the PHOS website at to learn how to improve your credit score, access a mortgage calculator, get an idea of what type of house is affordable for you, learn about the settlement process, and more. The website also has in-depth information about the PHOS Forgivable Loan Program and Closing Cost Reduction Program, and the certain boundaries throughout West Philadelphia in which those programs can be utilized.

For more information, call the PHOS office at 215-898-7422 or email

Got a question for Benny? Send it via email to or via regular mail to the Current, 3901 Walnut St., Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19104.