Talking about student loan debt is pretty disheartening. Most college students, focused on getting an education, avoid addressing the cost issue until it slams them in the face: the first payment is due, and it’s between $200 and $500 a month.
The average U.S. college graduate has $37,414 in debt, which usually takes 21 years to pay off. Although many recent graduates assume they’ll pay their debt off by their late 30s, it takes most people well into their 40s or 50s to pay it down to zero.
In fact, student loan debt is now the nation’s second-largest debt class, behind mortgages. Neither credit card debt nor auto loans can touch the massive size of U.S. student loan debt.
Employers in the Mix
In this climate, finding a job is almost always the priority for fresh college graduates. This is where employers become a part of their financial plan. The first college loan payment looms among other bills, and a new grad needs a paycheck to fill up the bank account.
Not only do they need money, they need financial advice. Just when they’ve finished spending tens of thousands on an advanced education, most of them are poised to make expensive mistakes due to lack of financial knowledge. To put it another way – they might know everything about environmental biology, but they don’t know much about high-interest loans.
What can employers do to support these new employees’ financial health? As it turns out, a lot. One of the most effective things they can do is develop an employee financial wellness program.
Innovative Repayment Assistance
Employers are increasingly reaching out to help college grads with student loan debt. Termed student loan repayment assistance plans, they take many forms but are all driven toward taking control of your debt, and thus your future.
GotZoom, an innovative plan from Integrity Data, is part of the company’s overall holistic approach to financial wellness. It’s based on the idea that if the company can help ease an employee’s financial burden, their stress will be reduced and they’ll be happier and more productive at work.
GotZoom develops a student loan assistance program for employers that helps college grads lower their monthly payments, shorten their loan terms, and make scheduled payments on time to avoid incurring late fees and interest charges. Most employees can use GotZoom to reduce their overall debt by 60% or more, their annual cost by $5,616, and their monthly payments by $468.
It’s not magic; it’s solid financial management. GotZoom pursues dozens of government repayment programs and helps users select which they can use to pay off their debt most effectively. Essentially, GotZoom does all the boring student loan stuff so an employee can focus on their job instead.
Unlike traditional debt management programs, which can be complex and confusing, GotZoom presents everything in a simple, mobile-focused environment. The interface is intuitive. Anybody who’s played a game on their cell phone can use GotZoom.
GotZoom is a student loan repayment tool that has had immediate success. People who are using it are routinely saving 50% on their payments – and not just new college grads, but anyone with student loans.
Plus, GotZoom makes people feel like their employer cares about their situation. Rather than viewing their employer as a source of stress, it’s a source of optimism and support. That’s a huge change in the workplace, where money is the #1 stressor for most employees.
Narobi Melendez, the director of client success for LittleBird HR, gives a big thumbs-up to the program:
“I am very happy with the service level and results GotZoom has provided. They were able to save me 50% on my monthly student loan repayment. I am excited about the savings and the shortened repayment period.”
Other reviews of GotZoom are similarly positive and show the real cost savings involved for people who are deep in debt:
“I went from paying $279 a month to a $38 a month payment! I couldn’t believe it! I seriously thought my new payment amount was a mistake.”
“My payments were $323, but we got it down to $88 a month. I was informed that my term is only 10 years.”
“My original loan was for $28,000. GotZoom saved me $19,000 and cut my term from 25 years to 10 years. Who does that? GotZoom does!”