As millennials are beginning to enter into the workforce, companies are offering new benefits to attract young people to work for them. These benefits are employer paid student loan programs. For recent graduates, working at a company that provides these benefits would greatly cut down a chunk of student loan debt.
However, these benefits are rare, as well as highly sought after by recent graduates entering the workforce. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, a mere 3% of the 450 companies surveyed provided these benefits. Not all hope is lost. In the upcoming years as more millennials enter the workforce, it is predicted that there will be more of these benefits offered by employers in order to attract young workers. As of right now, millennials make up about one third of the American workforce and are expected to grow to 48% of the American workforce by 2020.
As the job market has improved over the years, employee turnover has been an issue for businesses. By offering these benefits, companies have a better chance at keeping employees. Although healthcare is the most desired benefit among employees, employer paid student loan programs are highly desired by American workers.
There are four type of Employer Paid Student Loan Programs: Direct Repayment Assistance, Tuition Reimbursement, Automatic Savings Plans, and Financial Planning Services. Each one has different benefits and requirements for eligibility, so it is crucial to do your research before deciding where to apply for work.
Direct Repayment Assistance
This type of benefit is not commonly offered by employers. However, this benefit is highly sought after by millennial employees. Some companies have adopted this plan as a benefit to employees, by directly repaying the employee’s student loan debt. As long as the individual works for the company, they may be eligible to have their debts paid by their employer.
If you are pursuing continuing education, such as a Master’s degree, then you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. Some companies will offer this benefit to employees who are seeking higher education beyond their undergraduate degrees.
Automatic Savings Plans
Savings Plans are one of the most common benefits offered by employers. Although some of these types of plans do not directly tie into paying off student loans, they are helpful for saving money and creating a personal budget for repaying debt. Many companies enroll their employees in a 401K retirement plan. Other companies “match funds” if you contribute your own funds into a savings account.
Financial Planning Services
Similar to savings plans, Financial Planning Services offer employees professional financial consultations. These are helpful resources to use when creating budgets and repayment plans for student loan debt. They are free tools offered to employees typically by more of the large companies.
If your employer offers these services, take advantage of them. Employer paid student loan programs and savings accounts may not be a complete solution to paying off student loan debt, but they are a great contributing factor to paying off student loans.
Options are available to help
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