Fidelity’s New Employment Perk: Student Loan Repayment
Mar 16th, 2016 @ 8:42 PM by Amber Nelson
“Our employees and their managers told us that student loan debt was forcing them to put off major life decisions like buying a home and having a child,” said Jennifer Hanson, head of associate experience and benefits at Fidelity. “As a financial services firm, this was really concerning to us and we felt that providing a benefit like student loan repayment assistance helps us to address a very real financial concern that is impacting our employees directly.”
The program allows those who have been with the company at least six months to receive $2,000 a year toward their student loans with a maximum payout of $10,000. That will be a major incentive to potential employees, as 70 percent of college graduates today have student loan debt, at an average of $35,000. Having their employer pay a third of their debt could be a very attractive offer.
Fidelity is one of several companies, like Pricewaterhouse Coopers, to add student loan repayment to its list of benefits recently. While currently only 3 percent of all U.S. firms offer this assistance, it is likely that it will become a trend as college students today continue to face a debt loan that is three times as heavy it was for those coming out of school 20 years ago. Tuition.io, the company administering Fidelity’s debt-repayment platform, is finding that companies all over the country are interested in joining in, even those among the list of Fortune 500 firms.
Since the launch of its new program, Fidelity has had nearly 5,000 employees enroll for their chance at student loan forgiveness.
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.