How to Get Your Employer to Pay for Your Student Loans
Ready to apply for a new job? You might want to check to see if your potential new company offers student loan repayment benefits. It's one of the hottest new employee benefits and it's easy to see why. With student loan debt so high, it's a great way for all sorts of companies to attract and retain younger employees. It can also help you balance saving for a new house and paying off your student loans.
Not every company offers it, so how do you get this great benefit?
What if your dream job doesn't come with student loan repayment benefits? Well, whether you're starting a job or buying a house just about everything is negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask for what you need.
Remember, right when you're offered a job is the best time to ask for whatever you think you might need. Your employer just put a lot of time and energy into recruiting, interviewing, and choosing you, so you have some negotiating power.
There are a ton of great salary negotiating tips out there, but we found a new one that we just love. Tell your recruiter the one thing you need to accept the job on the spot. It's simple, straightforward, and effective.
So, go ahead and say it! "If you can offer me $X per month in student loan repayment benefits, I'll accept the offer right away."
Obviously, you should keep the amount in a reasonable range. If you ask for $1,500 a month, that's another $18,000 a year and your company might just not have that in the budget. But if all you want is $200 a month to cover your minimum payment that's only $2,400 a year. It's a game-changing amount to you, but probably just a drop in the bucket for your company.
Show the benefits to HR
So, what if you accepted a job before you even knew that student loan repayment benefits were a thing. Sure, you can't use it as a negotiating chip, but now you have the benefit of understanding how your company works and what it cares about.
Start by preparing a presentation for HR to show them why they should offer student loan repayment benefits. outline the benefits of the program.
Improves employee morale
According to Gradifi, a company that manages student loan repayment programs for employers, student loan repayment plans help retain employees, decrease employee stress, and increase employee satisfaction at their job.
Keeps up with competitors
Employers are always in competition with each other for top talent. If your company's competition is offering better benefits, they can stand to lose out on new hires and seasoned employees who are looking for a change. Do a little research into similar organizations and find out if any offer student loan repayment. Don't dismiss it if you can't find any! You can always pitch it to your HR department as something that will keep your company ahead of the competition.
What to do next
It worked! Your employer agreed to start a student loan repayment benefit program and that's one less bill for you! So what do you do now?
Double payment is great because that extra money every month will go toward your principle instead of your interest. It also means you'll pay your loan off twice as fast. Thirty-year-old you is going to thank you when she's living debt-free.
Any time you can put more money in your retirement account is a win. But the more you put in when you're younger, the better thanks to compounding interest.
Save for down payment
If buying a home is on your mind you can always use that extra money to save for your downpayment. Not sure how to even start to buy a home with your student loans still hanging over your head? We've got you covered with our student loan guide.
Increase mortgage payments
You already own a home and your 401(k) is maxed out? Why not add the extra money to your mortgage payment each month. Use our calculator to see how many years that extra money will take off your loan.
Want to know more about buying your first house? Check out our learning center.