Employers explore repaying student loans

new survey from American Student Assistance, a private nonprofit dedicated to eliminating finance as a barrier to education and the dreams education enables, has revealed the burden of student debt on young employees.

The survey of 500 employees ages 22 to 33 highlights how student loan debt negatively impacts their focus, well-being and retirement planning and delays their pursuit of additional education. More than half of the workers surveyed say they worry about student loan debt most or all of the time and nearly 65 percent say they may seek a second job to help pay off their loans. Additionally, the survey found:

  • 86 percent of employees would commit to a company for five years if the employer helped pay back their student loans
  • 92 percent would take advantage of a match for student loan repayments similar to a 401(k) match
  • 79 percent would take advantage of free access to a student loan debt counselor

“When employees are distracted, they aren’t being productive,” said Peter Marcia, founder and CEO of YouDecide, a voluntary benefits outsourcing company in Atlanta.

As a result, more and more employers are considering offering employees a new perk: paying off their student loans. Currently, only 4% of employers offer this sort of benefit. With little student loan relief expected from elsewhere, we can expect the number of employers helping out to start increasing dramatically as a new tactic to acquire talent.

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