17% Of US Employers Offer Student Loan Debt Assistance Programs, Survey Finds
Higher Education News
Nov 09, 2021
17 percent of employers across the United States are currently offering student loan debt assistance, 31 percent are planning to offer it, while 48 percent were offering or planning to offer the assistance, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2021 Employer Financial Wellbeing Survey.
The survey has found that the most common benefits that employers have offered include:
- contributions tied to an employee’s student loan debt payments (39 percent)
- student loan debt payment counseling or education (35 percent)
- loans through an employer-sponsored retirement plan (35 percent)
The report states that debt consolidation or refinancing services have been placed near the top of the list of student loan debt assistance benefits that employers are planning to offer in the future, standing at 41 percent.
Moreover, 42 percent of employers said that the benefits that they were planning to offer in the next one to two years included student loan debt payment counseling or education. Whereas, 40 percent of them said that they would offer loan repayment subsidies paid by the employer.
31 percent of employers were not very interested to offer low-interest or interest-free loans. Some of the employers that offer student loan debt assistance include Aetna, Fidelity, and PwC.
Differently, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, only 8 percent of employers offered student loan assistance.
Student debt in the United States has significantly risen over the past decades. According to statistics, student loan debt in the United States has exceeded $1.7 trillion.
In late September, one of the largest US student loan companies, Navient, said that it will end its federal student loan service, requesting the approval of the government to end its contract.
“The Federal student loan program will be far better off without them,” Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, wrote on Twitter.
The pause on the federal student loan is expected to end in less than 90 days. The pause was initially planned to end in September 2021, nevertheless, student borrowers will be able to plan the resumption of payments until January 31, 2022, following the decision of the Biden administration to extend the pause on federal student loans payments.
Another survey carried out by Student Debt Crisis and Savi revealed that some 90 percent of students with loans were not able to resume loan payments in the fall, and two out of three participants also were skeptical whether they would be able to pay their loans until September 2022.
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