Student loans can dampen the ability of new grads to get on their feet financially, causing stress at home and at work. According to Student Loan Hero, the graduating class of 2016 had an average student loan balance of $37,172 — up six percent from the year before.
While it’s daunting to see that number rise, the good news is that, in an effort to recruit and retain the best hires, a growing number of employers have started programs to help employees pay back those hefty student loans. Here are a few of those companies helping workers get out of debt.
In April 2015, tutoring and study services company Chegg announced its college loan reduction plan for full-time employees in partnership with Tuition.IO, a company that provides a web-based platform for tracking and managing student loan payments. This benefit has an annual cap of $1,000 (less taxes), but has no cap on the total amount an employee can receive.
ChowNow has found this perk so useful in hiring talent that the company decided to double it from when it first started offering it to employees. The Los Angeles-based online food ordering company has an employer-paid student loan assistance program that matches up to $1,000 a year of employee payments.
Since December 2016, this lending marketplace platform has been granting $100 per month to its employees to pay down student loans. While CommonBond limits the perk at $1,200 per year, the company continues helping its employees until they fully pay off their student loans. Employees also have the option to refinance their student loans with CommonBond. On average, student borrowers save over $14,000 when refinancing through CommonBond, according to the company.
4. Credit Suisse
The financial services company doesn’t offer a lump sum benefit to its employees, but instead provides a 0.25 percent discount on interest rates to workers that refinance their student loans with online lender SoFi.
5. Connelly Partners
Boston-based ad agency Connelly Partners works with Gradifi to offer a student loan repayment plan that improves the longer the employee stays with the company. Like a 401(k) plan, the agency matches up to $100 per month of its employees’ debt payments. Employees who stick around for at least six months receive a $1,000 student loan payment bonus. Those who work for the company for five years receive another $1,000 bonus for the sixth year.
6. Fidelity Investments
The financial services firm makes an annual $2,000 direct payment to employees’ student loan servicers, up to a total of $10,000. If your career with Fidelity requires you to continue your education, then Fidelity will reimburse you 90 percent of qualifying costs (up to $10,000 per year) of a work-related degree or certification program. You must have worked for the company for at least six months to qualify.
Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the workforce management software provider has partnered with solutions provider Student Loan Genius to pay up to $500 per year to help employees pay down student debt.
Since February 2016, the online marketplace for student loan financing has paid $2,400 per year ($200 per month) to employees with student loan debt.
9. Martin Health System
Employees working in the nursing field at Martin Health System in Florida can receive up to $2,000 per year to help pay down their student loans. In addition to this benefit from Martin Health System, Florida nurses can also work in areas with staff shortages to qualify for the state’s Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program or the federal Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses and Medical Technicians.
10. Moonlite Bunny Ranch
In 2015, Dennis Hof, the owner of the legal brothel Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada, promised to match 100 percent of his employees’ student loan payments for two months, up to the full amount that they made during that period.
11. Natixis Global Asset Management
All Natixis employees receive an annual $1,000 student loan repayment benefit, up to $10,000 over a 10-year period. The company used to require that workers reached five years of employment in order to receive a lump sum benefit of $5,000, but did away with the requirement in July 2016.
This computing giant offers comprehensive student loan repayment options. First, employees working at least 20 hours per week who graduated within the previous three years can apply for a reimbursement of $6,000 a year for qualifying student loan payments, up to $30,000. Second, employees who successfully refinance their student loans with SoFi receive a bonus ranging from $200 to $500 and pay no loan origination fees. Third, employees who need to go back to college can receive a reimbursement of up to $5,250 each year for qualified job-related educational expenses, including tuition and books, as long as they earn at least a B average.
The clothing design company was among the first businesses in Wisconsin to partner with Gradifi to offer a student loan repayment assistance program. Powertex gives eligible employees $100 per month for student loan payments for up to six years.
14. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)
Associates and senior associates at the consulting firm receive $100 per month ($1,200 a year) toward student loan payments for up to six years.
Many employers partner with SoFi to offer a student loan repayment assistance program. The online lender also offers its own eligible employees $200 per month to help them fully pay back student loans.
The office supply retailer offers top-performing full-time employees $100 a month for three years, for a total of $3,600 in student loan assistance. To maintain their eligibility, employees must meet set criteria throughout the entire three years.
As of January 2017, the health care company matches employees’ student loan payments of up to $2,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. The program is available to employees who have graduated within the previous three years from an accredited institution.