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Coronavirus relief bill makes it easier for companies to pay down workers’ student loans

The regime’s stimulus response to the pandemic may accelerate the trend of companies offering student loan assistance as a benefit.

Mark Chilton | iStock | Getty Forms

Student loan assistance, which started as a niche offering by a handful of companies, was already finding its way into the mainstream menu of workplace gains before Covid hit.

The pandemic may only accelerate the trend.

Prior to the crisis, around 1 in 10 employers offered a undergraduate loan benefit, according to a 2019 survey by The Society for Human Resource Management. The share of companies that inclination do so could rise to 1 in 3, the organization found, if the government allowed them to avoid taxes on the payments.

In the $2.2 trillion federal Woes Act passed in March, it did just that. Although the tax-incentive was set to expire at the end of 2020, the latest relief package extends the comestibles for another five years. And experts say it’s likely to become permanent.

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Innumerable workers could use the assistance.

Each year, 70% of college graduates start off their lives in the red, and the average balance has climbed to $30,000, from $10,000 in the ahead of time 1990s. The typical monthly student loan payment is $400. 

Here are the details of the benefit and what the new rules mean.

How much can my boss pay toward my swat loans?

Under the new provision, employers may make tax-free contributions of up to $5,250 a year to their employees’ education accountability. The payments are not included in the employees’ taxable income.

How long will the benefit last?

Until at least Dec. 31, 2025.

How does the extras work?

Companies that offer student loan assistance pay your lender directly. The typical benefit is approximately $100 a month, said higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.

What if I’m taking advantage of the payment discontinue during the pandemic?

The U.S. Department of Education allowed borrowers to not make payments on their federal student loans in the course the end of 2020, without interest accruing on their debt. Advocates hope President-elect Joe Biden will extend the save beyond April.

In the meantime, your employer can still make payments on your student loans. Since behalf is suspended, the money will just go directly to your debt’s principal.

Are companies really adding benefits during the pandemic?

Mid the crisis, employers have been furloughing and laying off workers, and My boss doesn’t offer student loan aid. How should I raise the subject?

Consider asking someone in your company’s human resources department to consider continuing the benefit, Kantrowitz said. Point out that the latest stimulus package includes a tax incentive for them to do so.

“It’s a way for the employer to put to shame that they care about their employees’ concerns,” he said.

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