Helping Your Employees with Student Debt Can Pay Off
May 30, 2019
It’s that time of year when newly minted college graduates leave the comfort of their college campus and are thrust into the “real world” filled with big dreams, high hopes, and…an awful lot of student debt. For many, their memories of their college experience will last a lifetime, and if they’re not careful, so will their student loans.
According to Forbes, at the end of 2018, Americans owed more than $1.5 trillion dollars in student loan debt, and there’s no indication that the growth of this economic burden is going to slow any time soon. But the burden of student debt doesn’t only impact the financial health of the individual carrying the debt, it also affects the financial health of their current and future employers. A recent PwC study reported that employees spend more than three hours per week at work dealing with personal financial issues, proving that poor employee financial health is costly to employers and is a problem that will not go away if it’s not addressed proactively.
As an employer, you need to be aware that many of your new recruits will be saddled with student debt so you should be prepared help your employees navigate this issue. A great approach is to offer a financial wellness program with resources, tools, and even partners who can address the varied needs of employees with student loans. However, your financial wellness program also needs to be holistic to address other areas of personal finance that will certainly be relevant to most people such as credit management, retirement readiness, budgeting, and ID theft prevention, to name a few.
At LifeCents, we take a creative and personalized approach to helping people manage their student debt. For example, LifeCents gamifies paying off student loans through “Challenges” so participants see that they are part of a larger community working towards the same goal. In other instances, these same Challenges can be used to create a little friendly competition that helps to drive participation. In either case, the employee is earning points, earning badges, and even unlocking incentives to accelerate their debt payoff. This approach creates a highly engaging experience that inspires and motivates people to reach their goals.
As importantly, the financial guidance in LifeCents is not limited to student loan debt. Instead, LifeCents takes a holistic approach to improving financial health so each participant is presented with a personalized wellness plan that is designed to help them achieve the financial goals most important to them.
But keep in mind that not all programs are going to deliver the results you set out to achieve for your business nor will all programs deliver the outcomes that participants seek or need (read our post: The Seven Ideas for a Great Employee Financial Wellness Program to learn more). Bottomline, a well-designed financial wellness program can be an invaluable asset to your employees and your organization, but not all financial wellness programs are equal.
So as you welcome a new class of recruits, imagine the value of creating a culture of good financial health and offering opportunities and incentives to help your employees confidently tackle their student loan debt. In a tight labor market, that kind of reputation can have tremendous recruiting and retention value.
Interested in learning how LifeCents can help your employees tackle their student loans? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.