A new Penn service helps employees with student loan debt

The University has partnered with PeopleJoy, a financial wellness benefits organization, to help with student loan debt.

Two people sitting at a laptop.

Many student loan borrowers are looking for help with their payments. Penn has partnered with the financial wellness benefits institution, PeopleJoy, to help faculty and staff take charge of their student loan debt and receive ongoing support.

“Since the loan forgiveness process is complex, we sought the engagement of PeopleJoy, which can optimize and implement federal student loan repayment strategies for borrowers,” says Elena McClelland, director of HR Programs in the Division of Human Resources. “We have assessed their services to be a strong fit for our employees’ needs when it comes to navigating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) process.”

This free service is available to Penn staff and faculty and will help those with student loans determine their eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. PeopleJoy assists borrowers with the application process and acts as an advocate on behalf of the borrower with student loan providers.

“PeopleJoy is a minority-owned, Philadelphia-based company,” McClelland says. “Since 2016, PeopleJoy has partnered with dozens of employers, including Penn Medicine and CHOP, to assist thousands of employees with qualifying for PSLF. Although employees can work directly through the Department of Education, we encourage Penn employees to reach out to PeopleJoy for an initial, free eligibility consultation to tap into their expertise. They have already helped borrowers receive nearly $3 million in loan forgiveness this year.”

Through this service, participating employees will receive program assessments, program enrollment, goal-based coaching, and college financial planning.

Program assessments will help employees identify the best federal repayment programs based on their financial situation.

PeopleJoy will enroll eligible employees in the repayment programs, removing confusing paperwork and worries of missing enrollment or annual recertification deadlines as part of the program enrollment service.

In goals-based coaching, employees receive repayment planning advice and coaching based on short- and long-term budgets, income projections, and financial health. Regular check-in calls are also available.

In addition, college financial planning includes one-on-one time with an adviser, and evaluation of the best college financing options, among other resources.

To use this service, employees can visit the PeopleJoy platform at upenn.peoplejoy.com. An email address, Penn ID, and information about their student loans are required. Once that information has been filled out, a member of the PeopleJoy support team will contact the employee via email to request additional information if needed, activate the service, and identify the next steps, or notify them if they are unable to assist.

“In addition to all the benefits offered through this service, each enrolled Penn employee is assigned a dedicated customer support representative to work with them for the life of their loan,” McClelland says. “The student loan analysis and ongoing student loan resources and services are covered by Penn, so there is no cost.”

Penn Human Resources and PeopleJoy are offering informative seminars through December:

• Student Loan 101, Oct. 20, noon to 1 p.m.
• Student Loan 101, Nov. 16, noon to 1 p.m.
• Student Loan 101, Dec. 15, noon to 1 p.m.
“If you have student loan debt, then PSLF could potentially save you thousands of dollars,” McClelland says. “To find out if you qualify, I encourage you to attend a webinar to learn more about how to get started with PeopleJoy, recent updates on federal student loans, all about loan forgiveness, consolidation versus refinancing, and other helpful resources.”