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This Might Be the Best New Job Perk for Millennials
Want to pay off your student loans three years early? If you get hired for the right job, your employer might do it for you.
Student loan repayment is part of some companies’ benefit packages, according to a new study by Nerdwallet.
By adding the company’s contribution to your regular minimum monthly payment, you can pay off your loans much faster — and pay less in interest. The average borrower, with $29,400 in loans, will save about $4,100 and get out of debt three years sooner than they would on their own.
Student Loan Repayment: The Best New Benefits Package?
Financial tech firm CommonBond contributes $100 per month toward employee student loans until those loans are paid off — as long as the employee is still with the company, of course.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fast Company notes, recent grads can receive contributions of $1,200 per year for six years.
The average recent grad has more than $35,000 in student loan debt, according to a 2014 White House Report on millennials. That’s more than the salary for entry-level jobs in many fields.
Who cares about retirement matching when you’re worried about paying back your loans for the next 10 years?
And parental leave is awesome, but the likelihood of you taking that leave in the first few years out of college is pretty low.
Student loan repayment might be the best perk for this young generation. It might even prevent some of the job hopping millennials are notorious for.
Old-Fashioned Methods for Getting Work to Cover Your Student Loans
Three percent of U.S. employers offer student loan repayment in their benefit packages — so far. What do you do if you don’t work in the financial sector, where these repayment programs seem to be centered?
Registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse faculty working in poor urban and rural regions can apply for the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program, which helps pay 60% of unpaid nursing student loans in two years.
Military officers may be eligible for loan repayment programs through their branches.
Teachers can receive loan forgiveness totaling $17,500 of federal loans, so long as they commit to teaching for at least five years.
Full-time teachers at low-income schools or teaching certain subjects may be able to have their federal Perkins loans canceled completely.
Peace Corps volunteers can have 15% of Perkins loans cancelled in their first year of service, 15% for the second year of service, and 20% for each of their third and fourth years served.
Government employees at federal, state, local or tribal levels, along with nonprofit workers, become eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
But this one is a long game: You must make 120 loan payments (one per month for 10 years, basically), before you can apply to have the remainder of your federal direct loans forgiven.
If you don’t qualify for one of these repayment programs and your employer doesn’t seem to be shaking a tail feather toward its own program, there are still options to make paying your student debt easier.
Your Turn: Do you have a brilliant plan for getting someone else to repay your student loans? Share it in the comments!
Lisa Rowan is a writer, editor, and podcaster living in Washington, D.C. She has a whole boatload of student loans and isn’t shy about celebrating every time she makes a payment.