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New Recruiting Tool: Companies Promise to Help Pay Student Loans

Companies promise to help employees repay student loans.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

October 21, 2015

New Recruiting Tool: Companies Promise to Help Pay Student Loans
For years, there has been the same formula to enticing new employees: health benefits, 401K and opportunities for growth. However, with the rise of millennials in the workforce has come a variety of creative benefits to lure some of the best minds to tech, financial and creative industries. These range from lounge rooms filled with ping pong tables to six-week sabbaticals for travel. The newest trend in recruiting millennial employees, though, is much more practical. Companies are now wooing recent graduates with the promise of helping them pay their student loans through Gradifi, a Boston-based start-up that allows employers to securely contribute to their employees’ student loan accounts, according to MarketWatch. One of the first companies to jump on board this new work benefit is Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a global consulting and accounting firm. The Washington Post reports that they will begin providing as much as $1,200 a year in student loan payments to employees with student loan debt next July. Associates and senior associates will be able to claim the benefit for up to six years.

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Gradifi told MarketWatch that about 40 companies are on a wait list to launch similar student loan pay back benefits. They anticipate within five to ten years’ time, about 50,000 to 100,000 companies will be offering some kind of student loan benefit. Currently, recent graduates can take advantage of loan forgiveness programs for specific jobs, like teaching in low-income areas and other public-service jobs. However, these require at least a ten-year commitment. This new work benefit makes it possible for young workers in other industries, like the financial or tech fields, to receive help for their student loans without the time constraint and limitations on where they can work.

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Over the next few weeks, Gradifi will release names of other companies who plan to utilize their student loan repayment services. Though this may not be a work benefit trend that takes off at companies across the board, it may very well become a staple at companies who have a tendency to hire young, recent graduates. As college students graduate, they can include this potential benefit in their job search by researching companies that are jumping on board student loan repayment help as well as ask employers about the possibility of including this benefit in their salary package. After all, it never hurts to ask; and before long, it may be one of the most common recruiting tools.

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