Student Loan Assistance – The New “Free Beer” of Workplace Perks

Published on Author Bethany Sims

There have been a variety of both traditional and nontraditional company perks used to attract new talent. From ping pong tables to unlimited vacation, the competition for young professionals is getting fierce as the economy improves.

The newest perk on the market is targeted to help solve the biggest financial problem many young professionals face – student loans. PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the “big four” accounting firms, is one of the first to offer student loan assistance. Fidelity Investments also has their own student loan assistance plan in the works. Both of these companies recruit entry level professionals as part of their hiring, with 47% of PwC’s workforce having 6 years of experience or less. PwC student loan assistance offers up to $1,200 per year for six years to help pay off an employee’s student loans with no strings attached. New employees can join the program immediately and don’t have to pay back the funds if they leave the firm. For new graduates about to face daunting levels of student debt, the offer of assistance from a prospective employer is very attractive.

According to Edvisors, nearly 71% of college grads have student loan debt, with each borrower carrying an average debt load of $35,051. Student loan repayment is more of a burden on young professionals of this generation than any other generation in history.  By 2020, the millennial generation will make up 50% of the workforce. Companies know they will need to rethink their offerings to be attractive to the coming surge of student loan laden young professionals entering the workplace.

Some criticism of the student loan assistance program is that employers could offer a higher salary so prospective employees can use the money as they see fit. If you don’t have student debt and you are considering an offer from a company that offers student loan assistance as a perk, you may leverage that to negotiate for a higher salary equal to the assistance program.

Tuition IO is powering this new student loan assistance perk with their technology offering a turnkey solution for companies offering student loan assistance programs. Tuition IO has multiple products, but the most popular is their program for employers to contribute to student loan payments.

Student loan assistance is still a brand-new perk. Only 3% of companies offer to help pay down student debt, according the Society for Human Resource Management. If your company isn’t offering to help pay off your student loans, take matters into your own hands and refinance those loans with Purefy to save money and get out of debt faster.

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