Peanut Butter is an employer-provided student loan repayment program benefit. After partnering with Peanut Butter, employers can provide student loan resources or monthly repayment benefits to eligible employees who get program perks such as financial coaching and loan refinancing opportunities.
Founded in 2015, Peanut Butter offers its services in the health care, insurance, real estate, and waste management industries. Student loan reimbursement benefits can help employers attract and retain talent, enhance the company culture, and boost diversity while allowing employees to reduce their student loan balances.
Here’s a look at our Peanut Butter student loans reimbursement review. Find out how it works, what it does, and what to expect from the platform, whether you’re an employer or employee.
In this review:
- How does Peanut Butter work?
- What services does Peanut Butter offer?
- What are the benefits for employers and employees?
- Who are Peanut Butter’s biggest clients?
- Who are Peanut Butter’s competitors?
- Are there downsides to student loan reimbursement benefits?
How does Peanut Butter work?
Peanut Butter aims to help employers incentivize their workforce while helping employees manage their student debt repayment.
When a company signs up with Peanut Butter, it picks a plan based on the services and features it wants to offer. This often includes direct student loan repayment but can also include employee loan resources and access to a debt refinancing marketplace.
Participating employers can contribute $30, $50, $100, or a custom amount toward each enrolled employee’s monthly loans. The employer can automate monthly loan payments, sending them toward eligible employee balances, which it can track through a robust dashboard. This platform also makes it easy to invite new employees to opt in, view enrolled employees and their loans, and suspend individual or bulk enrollees with one click.
Pricing depends on the plan and is based on the number of enrolled employees. An annual base fee applies in addition to an administrative cost per enrollee.
Annual base fees are as follows:
|Number of employees||Price per year|
|1 – 49||$750|
|50 – 149||$1,250|
|150 – 999||$2,500|
|1,000 – 9,999||$5,000|
|10,000 and up||$10,000|
Administrative fees are below:
|Number of employees||Monthly cost per enrollee|
|1 – 49||$7|
|50 – 149||$6|
|150 – 999||$5|
|1,000 – 9,999||$4|
|10,000 and up||$3.50|
Rather than paying an employee discretionary funds each month, Peanut Butter directs a company’s student loan benefit right to the lender. For many borrowers, this may be a more enticing employer benefit than additional pay or coffee in the breakroom because it helps them pay down their student debt.
Once the employer sets up their Peanut Butter account, it can invite eligible employees to the platform. They can enter and validate their student loans and determine where to direct their monthly benefit. Enrolling takes less than five minutes.
The online and app-based platform makes it easy to do all the following:
- Track past contributions
- View loan balances
- Browse loan management tips and advice
- Shop for loan refinancing lenders
- Use financial wellness tools
- Visualize different repayment options and scenarios to see which offers the best approach
What services does Peanut Butter offer?
In addition to student loan repayment facilitation for employers and employees, Peanut Butter offers related support services.
For employers, these include:
- HR support through a dedicated Customer Service Manager, who can field questions and provide employer guidance
- Robust employer control panel for managing enrollees, filing paperwork, and viewing contributions
- Loan verification services and up-to-date reporting
- Online and telephone support
Additional services and features for employees include:
- Financial wellness tools
- Curated student loan tips, advice, and resources
- Up-to-date loan and employer contribution tracking
- Repayment visualization tools
- Online loan refinancing marketplace
- Phone support as needed
What are the benefits for employers and employees?
It’s easy to see how Peanut Butter can benefit employees: additional contributions toward their student loan repayments. This can help free up extra cash each month or pay down their loan balances faster and for less.
A student loan repayment plan like Peanut Butter can be an enticing benefit for employers, helping with recruitment and employee retention.
Employees may perceive less value in a few extra dollars of salary each month, but an automatic contribution toward their educational debt—that they don’t even need to think about—can help relieve the burden of student loan repayment.
Who are Peanut Butter’s biggest clients?
Founded in 2015, Peanut Butter has locked in several large companies as clients.
This list will likely grow, in part due to a new 2023 partnership with ADP, a leading human capital management solutions firm. Through the ADP Marketplace—a storefront for workplace benefits and services—Peanut Butter is accessible to more than 600,000 ADP partner clients.
As for companies that have added Peanut Butter’s student loan reimbursement service for employees, Instacart and Aflac are two well-known clients.
Who are Peanut Butter’s competitors?
Peanut Butter offers an exciting, versatile option for companies and employees, but it isn’t the only student loan reimbursement platform.
Peanut Butter’s competitors include:
- Vault: This program—which boasts clients such as Mastercard, Ralph Lauren, and New York Life insurance company—offers a comprehensive platform for student loan repayment benefits as well as 529 plans and even tax-advantaged employee retirement savings, such as a 401(k).
- Bright Horizons: This platform offers a configurable dashboard for employee tuition reimbursement and financial wellness resources. Bright Horizons can also help configure benefits for child care, elder care, and special needs care for employees and their loved ones.
Are there downsides to student loan reimbursement benefits?
It’s essential to consider the disadvantages of a student loan reimbursement program like Peanut Butter, whether you’re an employer or employee.
The biggest downside for employees is that not everyone can use or wants this benefit. If you don’t have student loan payments, you would prefer your employer direct those funds toward your salary or another benefit.
This may be a temporary benefit for employees, depending on where they are in their student loan repayment journey.
If you only have two years’ worth of loan payments but plan to stay with your employer long-term, this student loan reimbursement will only benefit you until your balances are satisfied. After it ends, you may need to renegotiate your compensation with your employer to avoid losing out.
For employers, the biggest downside is the cost. They are committing to a recurring monthly student loan reimbursement and must pay administrative fees.
Take an employer offering a $100 monthly student loan benefit to 200 employees, for example. The annual cost of the reimbursement alone is $240,000. When you factor in the program’s yearly base fee of $2,500 and the monthly administrative fee of $5 per enrollee, that annual cost jumps to $254,500. If the human resources staff is responsible for monitoring this benefit, that’s added time (and cost) to consider.
Many in the current workforce have outstanding student loan debt, making loan reimbursement benefits an enticing option for employers to offer. Managing this benefit for each employee can be daunting, however, which is where platforms like Peanut Butter come in.
For a flat annual fee and monthly administrative cost, Peanut Butter can facilitate this workplace benefit for employees and employers, offering financial advice, resources, tools, and even a marketplace for loan refinancing.