Total student loan debt has reached nearly $1.75 trillion, affecting 46 million Americans. According to Student Loan Hero, 55% of the class of 2020 took out student loans and graduated with an average of $28,400 in student debt.
With student loan debt such an overarching problem, more companies are offering student loan repayment assistance to employees, and using that benefit as a recruiting tool to attract new talent. After all, when you’re $30,000 in debt, what’s the more attractive benefit — a free gym membership or getting significant help with your student loan debt?
In a 2020 survey, SoFi found that student loan repayment assistance was the second most requested financial wellness benefit — second only to a 401(k) retirement plan with a match.
And thanks to the CARES Act, any money your employer kicks in to help you pay down your student loans is not taxable. Whether payments are made to the employee or the lender, up to $5,250 in assistance is excluded from taxable income through 2025.
Here are more than a dozen notable employers whose benefits package can help you make your student loan payments.
14 Companies That Offer a Student Loan Repayment Benefit
Over the last decade, many notable companies have jumped on the student loan repayment assistance bandwagon. Here are some of the more notable ones.
The financial services giant pays up to $2,143 per year, and a $15,000 lifetime maximum, in student loan payments for regular employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Workers with 20 to 29 hours per week can receive up to $1,071 per year with a lifetime maximum of $7,500 toward their student loan debt.
In 2021, the company announced it was waiving its six-month waiting period after hire and making the employer student loan repayment benefit available from day one.
2. Live Nation
“With student loan debt at an all-time high, we’re proud to have been the first entertainment company in North America to offer student loan repayment assistance. We’ve saved our employees over $4 million since the program launched in early 2017,” Live Nation says on their website.
The entertainment company will match employees’ student debt contributions of up to $100 monthly – or $1,200 a year, up to $6,000 lifetime. Employees are required to have worked for Live Nation for at least six months.
For eligible employees, Aetna matches up to $2,000 in student loan payments per year, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000, for full-time employees. For employees who work a minimum of 20 hours per week, Aetna offers $1,000 annually with a $5,000 lifetime max toward student loan debt.
In 2018, the Santa Monica-based streaming giant announced it would being offering its employees a student loan assistance match of up to $1,200 per year.
“We estimated that 15 to 20 percent of our team members would benefit from this. So far, 12 percent have signed up,” Taunya Post, Hulu’s director of HR operations, told Benefits News when the program was announced.
Google announced its student loan repayment program in 2021. The company will match up to $2,500 annually in student loan payments.
In a blog post, the company said it hoped the program would help employees “pay off their student loans faster, allowing them to save money to use in other ways, whether it’s purchasing a new home, starting a family, or investing in a 401(k).” The tech giant also said the student loan repayment program would expand globally over time.
6. Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder, a global cosmetics company, announced in 2018 that it would contribute $100 per month of student loan assistance to eligible employees, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. After the initial launch of the program, 65% of participating employees were age 35 and under.
The visual technology company Nvidia offers an impressive student loan repayment program for full and part-time employees who have completed degrees within the last three years.
Nvidia will contribute up to $500 per month directly to the employee’s loan servicer (if the monthly payment is less than $500, they will only cover that amount), with an annual cap of $6,000 and a lifetime cap of $30,000 of student loan assistance.
The company also offers one-on-one student loan counseling sessions with financial experts at no cost.
8. Penguin Random House
The New York-based publishing house became the first book publishing company to offer a student loan repayments benefit in 2016. Once employees have been with the company for one year, they are eligible for up to $1,200 per year for 7.5 years, with a maximum repayment of $9,000 toward student loan debt.
Associates and senior associates at PwC can take advantage of the student loan paydown benefit in which PwC with pay up to $1,200 per year towards employees’ student loans. They will continue to pay for up to six years, or until the employee gets promoted to management — whichever comes first.
PwC says during those six years, an employee may see a reduction in student loan principal and interest obligations of as much as $10,000 and a shortened loan payoff of up to 3 years.
As a personal finance company, SoFi offers all the services you would expect from a large bank, including a program that helps employers set up student loan repayment assistance for their employees.
In 2016, the company was on the forefront of offering student loan repayment benefits when it announced it would be helping its own employees pay down student loan debt with $200 per month in employer student loan repayment assistance.
11. The Federal Government
Federal government employees may be eligible for the Federal Student Loan Repayment program. As the name suggests, it’s only available for federal loans. But, if eligible, a federal worker can receive considerable student debt relief — a maximum of $10,000 per year and a lifetime maximum of $60,000.
12. New York Life
New York Life, the third-largest insurance company in the United States, introduced its student loan repayment program in 2017. The company will contribute $170 monthly over the course of five year – that’s a potential of $10,200 in student loan repayment help.
Since implementing the program, New York Life says more than 1,200 employees have enrolled, with the company contributing nearly $9 million toward student loan payments. More than 140 employees have seen their loans totally paid off.
13. Anderson Global
The global tax firm provides all regular employees who work at least 20 hours a week an opportunity to take part in its student loan repayment program.
The company will pay $100 a month over the course of five years. At the end of the five years, the company will provide a $6,000 lump sum payment, for a total relief package of $12,000.
Chegg is an American-based educational technology company that began its student loan repayment benefits program in 2019.
For entry-level through manager level, the company provides up to $5,000 annually for employees with at least two years tenure. For director to vice-president level, Chegg offers up to $3,000 annually.
This is in addition to the $1,000 the company provides to all its employees who have student loan debt. The program is available to employees who attended both two-year and four-year institutions, regardless of whether or not they graduated.
Robert Bruce is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.