The downward spiral of student debt - Is there any way to unwind the money American students owe for their education?

The downward spiral of student debt - Is there any way to unwind the money American students owe for their education? The downward spiral of student debt - Is there any way to unwind the money American students owe for their education?

April 15, 20192 min read
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It’s spring and that’s supposed to be an exciting time for the four to five million students who are set to graduate from universities and colleges across America this year. The sad reality is, most will owe an average of $30,000 in the form of student debt.


In fact, according to Lending Tree – America is drowning is student debt from coast to coast. 


“Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 45 million borrowers. That’s about $521 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.”  - Student Loan Hero by Lending Tree


It’s a hole that seems near impossible to get out of. However, some companies are getting creative with options and approaches to help employees chip away at what they owe.


At Unum, the company realized that there is a lot of vacation being carried over and not used, so the company decided to allow staff to put that time owed toward reducing the burden of student debt.


“Employee benefits provider Unum recently announced that, starting next year, U.S. employees can trade up to five days, or 40 hours, of unused vacation time for a payment against their student loan tab through the Student Debt Relief Program, which is also managed by Fidelity.


Full-time employees receive 28 days of paid time off, including holidays and personal days, their first year at Unum, with additional PTO available over time.


Unum estimates that around 40 percent to 50 percent of those employees carry over five days, or 40 hours, each year. In fact, American workers use about half of their eligible vacation time on average, according to a separate study by jobs and recruitment website Glassdoor.” – CNBC


Are you covering America’s increasing student problem?


Do you have questions about what companies can do and what options are out there to help Americans get back in the black once the start their career?


That’s where our experts can help.


Liz Ahmed is Executive Vice President, People and Communications for Unum, a leading provider of workplace financial protection benefits. She is available to speak with media regarding student debt and how companies can help. Simply click on her icon to arrange an interview.




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  • Liz Ahmed
    Liz Ahmed Executive Vice President, People & Communications

    Liz Ahmed is EVP, People and Communications for Unum, a leading provider of workplace financial protection benefits

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