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June 10, 2023

Student Loan Assistance Could Be the Next Hot Benefit

Student Loan Assistance Could Be the Next Hot Benefit

As hiring struggles continue, it might be worth expanding your benefits package to include an additional financial perk: Student loan support.

About 17 percent of large employers (those with 500 employees or more) offer some kind of student loan debt assistance program, according to a 2021 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute–and with the freeze on federal student loan repayments due to expire on May 1, more may soon follow suit, the New York Times reported.

Financial wellness benefits are popular among employees. A survey conducted by PwC in 2021 found that 72 percent of workers who faced financial setbacks during the pandemic would be attracted to another company that offered financial wellness benefits, which can include tools like coaching, access to emergency funds, and loan repayment assistance. More than half of workers who didn’t face financial setbacks during the pandemic agreed.

While businesses across industries are increasing compensation to combat the Great Resignation, many will have to provide enhanced incentives to retain workers and attract new talent–and for the 42.9 million Americans who have a collective $1.7 trillion in student loan debt, repayment assistance could be that ticket.

Businesses can offer student loan help through third parties, like FutureFuel.io and BenefitEd, which allow employers to make direct contributions to employees’ student debt. Companies can customize monthly payment amounts, as well as lifetime contribution maximums. 

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