When looking for a new – or even a first – job, what part of the offer do you care about the most?
Is it the pay? What about the health benefits or the great retirement plan? For many, there’s a fairly new benefit out there that might make a job more worthwhile: student loan repayment assistance.
Jobs that pay student loans through student loan repayment assistance programs aren’t commonplace just yet, but they’re on the rise. We’ve put together a list of companies that pay off student loans. Some of these companies give money towards your loans as taxable income; others pay the servicer directly. Either way, check out this list – you might find some companies you were already interested in!
Companies that pay student loans
Health care company Aetna offers both tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment. For student loan repayment, they offer $2,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 for full-time employees. Part-time employees can get $1,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $5,000.
Employees must have graduated from a U.S.-based accredited institution within three years of applying for the student loan repayment program.The payments are made directly to the student loan servicer.
As for their tuition assistance program, Aetna pays 80 percent of the cost of employees’ undergraduate or graduate courses taken while employed at Aetna.
If any companies that pay student loans exist, it should at least be those that work in the education services realm. And education service company Chegg certainly got that memo.
Chegg offers $1,000 annually (minus taxes) towards employees’ student loan debt.
ChowNow, a restaurant marketing startup, announced in 2015 that they would start a student loan match program for full-time employees with a maximum contribution of $500 per year (minus taxes), with plans to increase the contribution to $1,000 per year.
CommonBond is a company that helps people refinance their student loans, so it should come as no surprise that it is also a company that offers jobs that pay student loans.
As of 2015, CommonBond started offering up to $100 per month towards its employees’ student loans for a maximum of $1,200 per year. Employees never get maxed out on this benefit until their student loans are paid off or they leave the company.
Dave Carter, Director of Business Development at CommonBond, is set to pay off his student loans almost one year earlier than planned thanks to this benefit. Here’s more on how it’s worked for him:
“Receiving this benefit has a tremendous effect on my overall stress levels and allows me to focus more on the task at hand – helping others with their loans!”
What’s more, Carter talks about how his loyalty to the company has grown because of it:
“Receiving student loan repayment benefits makes me more likely to stay at CommonBond, not only for the monetary reasons – which are great – but also because the company recognizes and is addressing a major financial issue in my life.”
5. Connelly Partners
Agency Connelly Partners announced its student loan repayment assistance program in June of 2016. Connelly Partners decided to partner with Gradifi, a “student loan repayment solution for employers” and match up to $100 per month of its employees’ student loan payments.
What’s more, new employees will receive a $1,000 signing bonus towards student loans in Gradifi and another $1,000 when they hit their five year anniversary with Connelly Partners.
6. Credit Suisse
Other businesses, such as Credit Suisse, use their own networks to create jobs that pay back student loans. Employers at the financial service company get a 0.25% discount on interest rates if they sign up to refinance their student loans via student loan refinancing lender SoFi.
While it may not be as attractive as a lump-sum payment, refinancing to a lower rate and receiving an additional discount could save employees thousands of dollars over the course of a standard 10-year repayment timeline. Even more so if these employees can combine that 0.25% discount with SoFi’s 0.25% automatic payment discount.
7. Fidelity Investments
Fidelity has jobs that pay back student loans, but that’s not all. Fidelity also offers tuition reimbursement to employees who’ve worked for Fidelity for at least six months and then enroll in work-related courses or degree or certificate programs. This reimbursement covers 90 percent of certain costs with a maximum of $10,000 annually.
As for student loan repayment assistance, employees can get $2,000 per year paid to their servicer for a maximum of $10,000.
8. First Republic
Private bank and wealth management company First Republic released a tiered student loan repayment assistance program in 2016.
This program is in partnership with Gradifi and is available to full- or part-time employees paying off their own student loans or loans in their name taken out for their children. This program has no maximum and is available for the life of the loan.
In the first year of employment at First Republic, employees receive up to $100 per month ($1,200 per year) for their student loans. In the second year, they receive up to $150 per month ($1,800 per year). And in the third year up until the loans are paid off, employees receive up to $200 per month for their student loans ($2,400 per year).
Like Fidelity, Kronos offers tuition reimbursement as well as student loan assistance. For tuition reimbursement, the courses have to be approved by Kronos.
For student loan assistance, sources report Kronos offers $500 per year until the loans are paid off.
10. Natixis Global Asset Management
In 2015, Natixis Global Asset Management released a study that showed 34 percent of American workers do not contribute to retirement plans because they have too much personal debt, with 23 percent of that debt made up of student loans.
Originally, Natixis’ plan was to offer $5,000 towards Federal Perkins and Stafford loans to employees on their five year anniversary. But now Natixis revised the plan to offer a $1,000 annual benefit to all employees for federal and private student loans.
This benefit will be paid out in direct payments to the servicer of $83.33 per month for a maximum of $10,000 over ten years while the employee remains with Natixis. Bonus: the payment is made directly to the principal balance of the loan.
When it comes to student loan benefits, visual computing technology company Nvidia covers all the bases. Nvidia has a student loan repayment assistance program that offers up to $500 per month on student loans to full- and part-time employees who’ve been with the company for at least three months. These payments are made directly to the student loan servicer.
That makes up a total of $6,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $30,000. Employees must have graduated within the past three years to be eligible.
And for those who want to further their education, Nvidia offers up to $5,250 per year for manager-approved, work-related courses. Employees must earn at least a “B” in their course to receive this reimbursement.
Finally, like Credit Suisse, Nvidia has a relationship with SoFi. Nvidia employees can apply for a SoFi student loan refinance through Nvidia and receive a bonus of $200-$500 if they’re approved.
12. Penguin Random House
In a partnership with Gradifi, book publisher Penguin Random House announced its own student loan repayment assistance program in 2016, making it the first-ever book publisher to do so.
As of the beginning of 2017, full-time employees who’ve been with the publisher for at least one year are entitled to up to $1,200 per year for their student loans.
Penguin’s reimbursement, which goes straight to its employees’ principal student loan balance, maxes out at seven and a half years, which totals $9,000 in maximum student loan reimbursement.
Also partnering with Gradifi, merchandising company Powertex is another big name offering jobs that pay student loans.
Powertex employees can receive $100 per month on their student loans for up to six years, maxing out at a total of $7,200.
14. PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC)
Another large company partnering with Gradifi, PricewaterhouseCooper made the decision to offer payoff benefits based on what its millennial workers reported they needed.
As of 2016, employees receive $1,200 per year (paid out monthly straight to the student loan servicer) for up to six years (or a total of $10,000). And it won’t just cover new hires or those under the age of 30 – all current staff with qualifying debt can sign up.
As of last year, SoFi joined the pack of companies that pay off student loans, or at least contribute to the payoff, for its employees.
SoFi employees can receive $200 per month towards their student loans with no yearly maximums.
Staples released its student loan repayment assistance program in 2016, but not all employees will benefit from it.
The program, which pays $100 per month for three years straight to the principal balance of the student loan, is only available to new hire sales associates in specific areas and current employees deemed to be “top performers.”
17. U.S. Government
Jobs that pay back student loans don’t just come through private companies. U.S. Government employees may be eligible for student loan repayment assistance through the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program.
This program is offered as a recruitment tool for various agencies and thus will vary based on where the government employee works. In general, employees can receive a maximum of $10,000 per year and a lifetime maximum of $60,000 for their student loans. However, this only applies to federal student loans.
Bonus: government employees can also potentially qualify their federal student loans for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Evaluating companies that pay off student loans
When it comes to accepting job offers from companies that pay off student loans, it’s hard to find a downside. One thing to note is that, depending on your company’s program, the repayment assistance is potentially taxable.
Either way, just like a 401(k) match, this is money that’s left sitting on the table if you don’t take advantage of it. And when it comes to student loan repayment, a little bit of extra help can go a long way.
Shannon Insler contributed to the reporting of this article.
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