Agonizing over student loans? You are not alone — in 2018, Americans owed over $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.
While that statistic may prompt hyperventilation, it has also motivated companies big and small to offer the next popular employee benefit: student loan repayments.
Employers see relieving this financial burden as an opportunity to attract talent and retain employees, especially millennials and Gen Zers.
The health insurance company matches employees’ student loan payments up to $2,000 annually, offering $10,000 of total assistance. “By helping ease their financial burden, our employees can better focus on our mission of building a healthier world,”says chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini.
2. Live Nation
Live Nation matches $100 of student loan payments a month for employees, with a maximum of $6,000 in repayment. Live Nation’s Chief Human Resources Officer Nadia Rawlinson told CBS, ““It’s new, it’s innovative and it gets out at helping employees realize their life goals, not just professional goals.”
3. Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s student loan assistance program, which provides up to $10,000 for employees over five years, was so successful that the company created a larger program to help other employers offer loan repayments. “As a firm, we continue to support efforts to make student loan debt easier to understand and less of a burden on today’s workforce,” Fidelity said on their website.
4. Millennium Trust Company
Since Millennium Trust launched their student loan repayment plan, 20 percent of employees have joined the program. “We wanted to create a benefits program aligned with our employee base,” John Samaan, senior vice president and head of human resources, told Investment News. The company did not specify what amount it offers in repayment.
5. Penguin Random House
The book publishing company reimburses employees $1,200 annually for student loans, with up to $9,000 available in subsidies. CEO Markus Dohle explained to Cision, “With this new benefit for our employees, we have another opportunity to live up to our mission and help our employees invest in their futures while also making Penguin Random House a happy, productive, and rewarding place to work.”
Natixis provides its employees with up to $10,000 of student loan repayment over 10 years. “Today’s student loan burden is tomorrow’s underfunded retirement problem, so it is imperative for companies to join with policymakers, educators and employees to address this critical issue,” said John Hailer, CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management in the Americas and Asia, in a press release.
CommonBond is in the business of student loans which explains why their own employees receive one of the best loan repayment plans in the game. The company gives $100 a month to employees’ loan payments with no limit, meaning contributions continue until debts are fully paid off. The company credits the benefit for helping employee retention and recruitment, saying on their website, “In just one year, we have seen a material impact on our ability to on attract and retain employees.”
8. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
PricewaterHouseCoopers states on their website, “We want to make sure you get your career off to a financially healthy start.” That’s why the company provides $1,200 a year towards employees’ student loan payments, with up to $10,000 of subsidies.
9. Social Finance (SoFi)
When SoFi announced they had funded over $1 billion of student loan refinancing, they also launched student loan repayments for their employees of $200 a month, with no yearly cap. SoFi says on its blog that “We’re proud to be one of the first companies in the country to offer such a perk.”
Abbott offers a unique solution to employees trying to both pay their student loan debt and save for retirement. For employees who are contributing 2 percent of their paycheck to student loan payments, Abbott will contribute a 5 percent match to their 401k savings. “Our employees have invested a lot in themselves to earn their way into Abbott, and we don’t want student loans to prevent them from beginning to save when time is on their side,” said Steve Fussell, executive vice president of Human Resources, on the company’s website.
The car dealership company recently announced they would contribute up to $1,000 a year to paying employees’ student loans. Carvana did not specify if there was a maximum to their repayment plan.
Peloton recently partnered with student loan repayment benefit company Gradifi to offer its employees $100 a month towards their student loan repayments. Gradifi’s Vice President of People Amy Stoldt said on their website, “Peloton understands the strategic benefit of providing a differentiated employee benefit that also assists in attracting and retaining employees in today’s competitive environment.” Peloton did not specify if its maximum repayment.
13. Estee Lauder
“We know that student loans are an increasing burden for current and potential talent at The Estée Lauder Companies,”Latricia Parker, executive director of global benefits for The Estée Lauder Companies, said in a statement. “The launch of the Student Loan Contribution Program is an example of how the company is executing its goal of being the best home for talent — offering benefits that relieve the stresses of everyday life and allow employees to focus on their careers and passions.”
Recent graduates (within the last three years) can apply for reimbursement of $6,000 each year to help repay student loans, up to $30,000.
Staples program will initially be for employees who “have been identified as high potential and top performers” but will later expand to help more employees, according to a press release. Employees can qualify if they’re attending an accredited school or if they’ve already received an accredited degree. Staples could not be reached for comment about the number of employees who will receive the benefit.
Staples will make monthly payments to its employees’ student loan servicers through Tuition.io, a company that powers student loan repayment programs for employers.
16. New York Air Brake
New York Air Brake, which makes train control systems, will contribute $166 a month toward employee student loan balance.
17. Options Clearing Corporation
Options Clearing Corporation, a large clearinghouse for equity derivatives, also started providing its employees student loan contributions this year.