Soon Your Employer May Be Paying Back Your Student Debt | Bloomberg Business


Imagine a world in which the standard benefit package at work includes health insurance, 401(k) contributions, and a few thousand dollars to pay off your student debt.

More companies than ever are offering that last perk, but it’s still a fringe benefit. Two bills making their way through Congress could change that, by giving companies a tax incentive to help employees repay their student loans.

At the moment, when employees get money to pay off their student debt, it counts as taxable income, like a salary bump, just for debt payments. Unlike money that goes toward a 401(k), both employees and employers have to pay taxes on the benefit. For many businesses, it costs more than it’s worth. “I think the tax treatment now is a detriment to more companies adopting this,” said Rob Lavet, general counsel for SoFi, a nonbank lender, which works with around 400 employers that give employees loan refinancing reductions.

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