The New Golden Handcuff: Employer Contributions for Student Loan Repayment

Trying to compete for talent?  Perhaps thinking outside the box and to create a new program to attract AND retain talent are the way to go.  40% of employees rank student debt as their #1 financial concern. This personally came to light for me as a business owner recently while interviewing candidates for my own firm.  Talking with these sharp, young graduates it became apparent that having a company match for retirement was not the least bit attractive to them at this stage in their lives.  A Student Loan Paydown (SLP) program however, caused their eyes to light up and appears to trump all other benefits.

Companies such as Gradifi and SoFi set up plans for employers to pay money directly towards their employee’s student loans.  With the mounting debt across this nation, some estimate this nation’s student loan debt to be as high as $1.5 trillion dollars according to a recent Forbes article. Many firms see this not only an employee perk, but just good business sense.  According to Gradifi, 58% of employees are more likely to stay at their current job with an SLP than one without.  Even more eye-opening, 90% of those they surveyed said that having an SLP would impact their decision to accept a job offer.  This could be a game-changer in the war for talent.

The costs for an SLP are so minimal to the employer, it really makes sense to be able to offer a program like this and get a step ahead of your competition.  You don’t have to be an AECOM to have a great program that could improve your firm’s ability to attract and retain top talent and improve the quality of their lives at the same time!


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