Student loan debt is continuing to skyrocket past $1.5 trillion. Many of the 44 million Americans who have student loans are begging the government to step and help them. Many have so much debt it will take two decades to pay it off. Now, they might be getting their wish as a new bill is being proposed.
Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado has proposed the Student Loan Repayment Acceleration Act. This bill is designed to allow employers to make tax-free contributions towards their employee’s student loans. It wouldn’t just be student loans either. Retirement contributions, health insurance, and other benefits would also be on the bill.
“Student loan debt makes it harder and harder for graduates to get ahead,” Gardner said in a statement.
“I’m hopeful my legislation can make it easier to pay off loans by allowing employers to contribute to their employees’ student loans as many do for 401(k) plans. Every little bit helps, and this can be a model for further policies to deal with the growing problem of student loan debt.”
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Allowing Employers to Help with Student Loans
The government has been debating about how to handle the student loan debt crisis. Several candidates and lawmakers believe the government should make college free. They run on that semi-successful platform. Others, like the Trump administration, are completely against that approach. In fact, they’ve attempted to wipe out student loan forgiveness altogether.
According to President Trump, it’s unfair to expect taxpayers to foot the bill. A person decides to go to college and take on student loans to pay for it, they should pay what they owe. Still, that hasn’t dampened the cries of many students looking for help. The cost of a college education is growing exponentially.
How this Plan Would Work
Senator Gardner is hoping that incentivizing employers to make contributions makes the most sense. Rather than taxing companies to death, give them a tax break to encourage them to contribute. The SLRAA would allow your company to give up to $10,000 per year towards existing student loans.
In a lot of ways, it will be like a 401(k) payment. Employers can choose to structure the program so the employer matches every payment their employee makes towards their loan. This isn’t dissimilar to what a lot of companies are already doing. According to CNBC, many employers are already helping their workers pay off student loans.
Earlier in 2018, Fidelity Investments introduced a new program called Student Debt Employer Contribution Program. More ideas like this will be put into action if this new law is enacted. It’s really the middle ground between students who want the government to pay their loans and the government who doesn’t want to.
Either way, the SLRAA will help cut debt from student loans significantly. If you want this proposal to pass into law, call your senators and ask them to support it. This is the only way to show the government how badly students need relief. So, if you have student debt, help may be on the way. Come back to Financial Helpers for more as it develops.