Come Work For Us: We'll Help Pay Down Your Student Loans
Support for this NPR podcast and the following message come from NBC's new drama the enemy within Erica shepherd betrayed her country. Now, she's the FBI's only hope in stopping America's greatest enemy. But can she be trusted Mondays beginning February twenty fifth on NBC the size of the average student loan has nearly doubled over the past decade or so collectively Americans carry more than one point five trillion dollars in student loan debt. And some employers are seeing that as an opportunity they're offering to help repay loans on workers behalf as a way to attract and keep their talent. NPR's? Yuki Noguchi reports carrier Brian graduated from college six years ago with a political science degree and twenty eight thousand dollars in student loans. It was stressful because coming out and having to have a a payment of about two hundred seventeen dollars a month. I it just seems like a lot of money to pay back when you don't really know where you're going to be working how much you're going to be making O'Brien. Now twenty-seven wanted to save for a home or a wedding, but loan payments were her biggest roadblock. I've wanted to be debt free before I got married and ideally come to the table with some savings, then a year and a half ago O'Brien joined Fidelity Investments in Irvine California to work in client relations. She was told that after six months, she'd be eligible to have the company contribute to our loan payments. So I quickly marked my calendar. I call my parents at night and told them how excited I was because I had no idea an employer would help you pay off your student loans such benefits are relatively new and unusual. Only four percent of employers surveyed by the society for human resource management offer it, but you can see why it's increasingly popular, especially as school loans, become a bigger shackle. Data suggests student debt is delaying or preventing people in their twenties and thirties from buying homes at the same time unemployment is low and skilled workers hard to find employers who pay down student loans or more attractive. Live especially to younger workers, Kim Wilem is managing partner at Baker Tilley's human resource consulting group millennial turnover is different than any other generation before. And if I'm able to recruit somebody based off this benefit and then retain them for twelve or twenty four months longer than I'm getting a reward out of that. There are possible downsides often if an employee lease before a certain amount of time, they must repay the money. But while him says that can backfire sometimes what we see is that an employee becomes disgruntled, and then they're working they're simply because they don't wanna have to repay. But many say the upside is big at fidelity, for example, more than a quarter of its worker signed up for the program, which is only three years old. It pays up to ten thousand dollars over five years. Oshawa shrieking Taya a vice president of fidelity says those who participate stay longer at the company for us really focusing on retaining those. People especially after we've invested in training them as a really important thing. The program success lead fidelity to now sell it as a service other employers can offer she train beer ball is director of congressional affairs for the site for human resource management. She says loan repayment would be more affordable to nonprofits and small businesses. If congress makes it tax free for employers and workers more employers might be able to offer student loan repayment as a benefit to their employees, even without the tax benefits. Some employers say, it's worthwhile Madeline Macintoshes CEO of penguin Random House, which started offering loan repayment two years ago. She says about ten percent of the publishing companies five thousand employees participate, including she says older people who returned to school or took out loans for kids. I feel like it has really of outsized, emotional or psychological benefits for employees. I feel like if they were ranking it this would be up there at the top. And I don't think it's the most expensive. It's. Cost the company about a million dollars to date, far less. She says than what it spends on health insurance. You can Gucci NPR news Washington support for this podcast and the following message. Come from Comcast business having the nation's largest gig speed network was just the start. Now, they're providing gig fueled apps and solutions that exceed expectations and help businesses perform Comcast business beyond fast.