Student loan payments are due. Can employees catch up?
Are you ready to pay your student loans?
For many borrowers whose federal loan repayments kick in this week — after more than three years of paused payments launched in the early days of COVID-19 — the answer is an alarming "no."
The outstanding balance for student loan debt has reached $1.6 trillion across 43 million Americans, according to the Federal Reserve. The average federal student loan debt is $37,338 per borrower, according to a 2023 report from the Education Data Initiative, and the private student loan debt averages at $54,921. In June of 2023, the Supreme Court voted to reject President Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student debt for every borrower.
As Americans prepare to meet these payments, many will be turning to employers for help. But only 7% of U.S. employers offered student loan repayment assistance at the beginning of 2022, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. That number is expected to rise to nearly half in the next few years, according to a 2022 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, as companies are faced with employees' vocal demands.
What are the ways to provide support? Catch up on our recent coverage and help employees feel secure in their financial path forward. From embracing new federal programs to launching innovative employee benefits offerings, organizations can play a key role in helping employees feel secure in the finances — now, and in the future.