Government helps workers pay off student loans

The federal government is increasingly relying on an increasingly popular recruiting tool with employers ranging from one of America’s best-known businesses to brothels: helping pay off their student loans. workers.

Last year, the federal government helped 8,469 federal employees reduce their student loans to the tune of more than $ 58.7 million, according to a report from the Office of Personnel Management released last month. This is a 15% jump in the number of workers receiving the allowance and an 11% increase in the amount agencies spend on the allowance, according to the report.

The increasing use of the advantage by the federal government comes as it gains traction among businesses. PricewaterhouseCoopers announced last month that it would invest up to $ 1,200 per year for student loans for its employees during their first six years of entry-level employment. The company is working with a Boston-based startup that launched a platform last month to help businesses easily manage student loan payments for their employees. Even a brothel owner launched a program earlier this month to help his employees reduce their student loans.

It’s no surprise that employers are starting to understand the power of student loan repayments to attract and retain top talent. Nearly 40 million Americans have an estimated $ 1.2 trillion in student loan debt, and getting help seems like an attractive proposition. According to a recent survey from ionTuition, an online platform that helps borrowers manage their student loans, about 55% of current students, recent graduates and prospective students said they would prefer student loan repayment assistance to company sponsored health insurance.

The federal government primarily uses loan repayments to target workers in science, technology, engineering and math fields, which are in high demand, according to the OPM report. The Defense Department offered it to most employees of all agencies and they used it extensively to recruit and retain engineers and nurses, according to the report.

But Department of Justice intelligence analysts, State Department passport and visa examiners, Veterans Affairs Department human resources specialists, and various other professions from different agencies have also gotten help with their studies. student loans.

Federal agencies can invest up to $ 10,000 in an employee’s student loan each year and no more than $ 60,000 in total. Only certain types of federally granted, insured or guaranteed loans are eligible for the benefit. In return, the employee must agree to stay in the agency for at least three years.

Government employees also have access to another student loan benefit that is not available to most workers. Employees working for government or in nonprofit sectors may have their loans canceled after 10 years, provided they make consistent payments during that period.

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