A 2020 report indicates that student loans are now the second-highest consumer debt category. In fact, student loan debt is only behind mortgage debt, surpassing credit card and auto loans.
More than 44 million U.S. citizens are impacted by student loan debt. All in all, U.S. student loan debt amounts to nearly $1.6 trillion. Compared to any other generation, millennials are facing student loans that are becoming more difficult to repay. As a result, many companies are attempting to attract recent graduates by offering student loan assistance programs.
What Are Loan Repayment Assistance Programs?
Loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) are becoming more and more popular as an employee benefit. LRAPs help employees manage and overcome any looming student debt. The federal government currently offers two educational loan assistance programs (Federal Student Loan Repayment program and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program), while private-sector jobs offer several loan repayment options.
Listed below are some industries that frequently help pay off employee student debt:
- U.S. government
- Health care
Although this article lists 10 examples of companies that help pay off employee student loan debt, there are many more options. Check the employee benefits of jobs within your career to see if there is a program that can help you minimize student debt.
Continue reading to learn about 10 companies that help pay off employee student loan debt.
1. U.S. Government
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers up to $25,000 annually to qualified veterinarians. To qualify for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), you would agree to serve in a National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) designated location for three years. Typically, these are in locations with a veterinarian shortage.
The government offers similar student loan repayment options for other industries. One option is the Federal Student Loan Repayment program. This program gives participating agencies the ability to offer $10,000 a year toward student loan payments. You can receive up to $60,000 in total and must work a minimum of three years at the agency.
Certain agencies may accept specific types of degrees to qualify for the program. As a result, they will often tailor their plans to recruit very qualified candidates in sometimes hard-to-fill positions.
2. Peace Corps
While working for the Peace Corps, volunteers are responsible for any student loan debt; however, volunteers are offered help. This includes deferment, income-driven repayment, partial cancellation, and forgiveness. The benefits depend on the type of loan that you have. For example, federal student loans are eligible for partial cancellation, income-driven repayment, deferment, and even the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
The PSLF program is offered to eligible students who have held a public service job for at least 10 years. The government will forgive the remaining balance on eligible student loans. Qualifying applicants must be full-time employees and have made 120 monthly payments.
Additional PSLF job types include:
- Public child/family service agency
- Government (federal, state, or local)
- Private organization that provides a public service (public safety, public health, public interest law services, or law enforcement)
- Nonprofit organization
NVIDIA has been transforming computer graphics for 26 years. Most notably, they’re known for their work in the gaming market (3D graphics) and evolving graphics processing units (GPU) into a computer brain (virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing). At this time, NVIDIA offers several options to help employees cut away at their student loans and/or finance their education.
- Student Loan Repayment Program: If you’ve graduated within the past three years, you are eligible for a reimbursement of $6,000 annually. You can receive up to $30,000 to help pay off your student loans.
- Student Loan Refinancing: NVIDIA allows employees to refinance their student loans through SoFi. Once the loan refinancing has been approved, employees will receive $200 to $500 as a welcome bonus.
- Tuition Reimbursement Program: This program reimburses qualifying educational expenses to employees seeking to take additional classes.
- 529 Savings Plan: Do you want to save for education? NVIDIA has a program to help you save without having to worry about transferring money directly.
- Stanford Center for Professional Development: Continue your education for job-related higher education with Stanford University. Eligible employees can take select courses/certificate programs without having to pay for the classes. Additionally, these courses can be used toward a master’s degree.
PwC offers a Student Loan Paydown benefit. An eligible associate or senior associate will receive up to $1,200 a year toward student loan debt. Offering as much as $10,000 in total, PwC advertises that this benefit helps employees to reduce their student loan principal and interest. Overall, they boast that this program can shorten the life of student loan debt by three years.
SoFi leads with the mission of helping members achieve financial independence.
6. First Republic
In 2018, First Republic announced a student loan assistance program that could benefit employed college graduates. They partnered with Gradifi to offer this benefit to employees and their children.
If the loan was taken out in their name, employees can reduce their children’s student loan debt. Within the first year, employees will receive $1,200 for student loan debt reduction. The following year, employees are eligible to receive $1,800. Afterward, they can receive $2,400 every year until the loans are paid.
The Step Ahead Student Loan Assistance Program offered by Fidelity provides employees with a monthly subsidy to pay off their student loans. Fidelity is currently researching and testing scenarios to learn how to best help people trying to pay off student loans. Since its inception, over 5,000 associates at Fidelity have enrolled in the program.
8. Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories takes a unique approach to minimize student loan debt for its employees. If an employee contributes 2% of their paycheck toward their student loans, Abbott will contribute 5% into a 401(k).
Although this isn’t quite paying off student debt, it offers relief to employees. Abbott’s Freedom 2 Save (F2S) program is designed to allow employees to pay off student debt while saving for retirement.
9. Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin offers new graduates the ability to lessen their student loans. Full-time hires at Missiles and Fire Control are offered the Invest In Me program. Incoming graduates will receive a $150 cash bonus monthly for a maximum of five years. Although this was designed as a student loan repayment option, employees can use it toward buying a car or saving up for a house. Additionally, Lockheed Martin offers a student loan refinancing program and competitive benefits package options.
10. Nurse Corps
Join the Nurse Corps to enter into the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. The program pays up to 85% of unpaid nursing school debt for eligible employees, which include registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses (ARNPs), and nurse faculty (NF).
Qualifying candidates must have received nursing education at an accredited school within a U.S. state or territory and work full time. Over the course of just two years, you will receive 60% of your total outstanding nursing education loans. Once the initial two-year service contract is up, you can apply for the third year and receive an additional 25% off your original nursing education loans.
Need Help Eliminating Student Loan Debt?
Regardless of your college major or chosen career, many companies are helping employees pay off their student loan debt. Although the cost of education is on the rise, so are your resources. Eliminating student loans can be a daunting task for many college graduates; however, there are programs and resources to help you reduce your debt.
CollegeFinance.com offers resources to help students, parents, and college graduates make the most of their college investment. Want to learn additional ways to repay your student loans? We offer many articles to help you eliminate student debt.