Millennials Promise Job Loyalty for Student Loan Help
Mar 29th, 2017 @ 8:32 PM by Amber Nelson
Young American employees are finding it difficult to concentrate at work, according to a new survey by the American Student Assistance group, as they are constantly plagued by worries about how to repay their student loan debts.
Millenials – those between the ages of 22 and 33 – have helped push the total amount of student loan debt to record high, reaching almost $1 trillion by the end of 2016. As a result, 59 percent of those young Americans say that they worry either all the time or often about their student debts. Of those surveyed, 61 percent had considered getting a second job to pay off their loans. A significant portion – 44 percent – say they have no idea how they are going to repay their student loan obligations and 40 percent believe their health had been affected by these worries.
Stress over student loan repayment is also affecting how Millennials are planning (or not planning) for the future. Fifty-five percent would like to go on to graduate school but are unable to handle a larger debt load. And 54 percent are putting retirement savings on hold in order to focus on repaying their student loans.
The survey also asked about how employers could help ease the situation. Millennials said they would commit to stay at their current job for the next five years if their employer offered student loan debt repayment assistance. If offered, 93 percent of Millennials would take advantage of signing bonuses specifically to help pay off student loan, and almost 80 percent say they sign up for debt counseling if offered for free through their employment.
Congress is considering a bill called the Employer Participation Student Loan Assistance Act, which would make it easier for employers to offer student loan repayment incentives. Under the proposed law, employers could contribute up to $5,250 tax-free annually toward their employees’ student debt obligations. That bump in contributions could help many employers attract more of the candidates they seek and could reduce financial stress for many Millennials.
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.