How To Find Employers That Will Pay Your Student Loans

Yes, some companies offer student loan payment assistance

Young businessman using computer at home
Photo: uchar / Getty Images

Around one in five people in the U.S. have student loan debt, with a median average balance of over $20,000. It’s no surprise, then, that a growing number of employers are providing student loan assistance as a company benefit to help attract and retain employees. 

According to a survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 17% of large employers offered student loan assistance as a benefit in 2021, with another 31% of employers saying that they were planning to offer the benefit in the future.

Other financial wellness perks that are more popular with employers include financial planning education (55%), employee discount programs (50%), and tuition reimbursement (43%). But with employers still struggling to differentiate themselves from their competitors in order to hire skilled workers, student loan assistance may continue to gain in popularity.

Interested in finding an employer who will help pay off your student loans? Here’s what you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Employers can make annual tax-exempt payments of up to $5,250 per employee for student loan repayments or tuition assistance.
  • Highly paid employees and those in management occupations are more likely to receive loan repayment benefits than lower-paid workers.
  • To find a company that offers student loan repayment as a benefit, target larger employers, use keywords on job search sites, and more.

How Does Student Loan Assistance Work?

Employer-sponsored student loan repayment programs typically work through employer matching or direct payment programs.

  • Employer match: Companies match employees' monthly student loan payments up to a set amount. For example, Google contributes up to $2,500 each year per employee in matching contributions.
  • Direct payment: Employers make payments directly to the loan servicer. For example, NVIDIA pays up to $500 per month directly to student loan providers for employees who work 20 hours per week or more. 

Some employers are also experimenting with other ways to provide student loan assistance, such as converting paid time off (PTO) to a cash benefit that can be used for student loan repayment, retirement planning, or other purposes. But for now, you’re more likely to see programs that use a match and/or direct payment approach. 


Through 2025, employers can contribute $5,250 per year to an employee’s student loan repayment or tuition assistance without incurring taxes. 

Student Loan Repayment vs. Tuition Reimbursement

Student Loan Repayment  Tuition Reimbursement
Can be paid by pay period, monthly, quarterly, etc. Typically paid in a lump sum
Does not require the degree to be related to the job  Degree or certification usually related to job duties 
Tax exempt up to $5,250 per year  Tax exempt up to $5,250 per year

How To Find Employers That Offer Student Loan Assistance

Student loan assistance is not a standard employee benefit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 4% of private-sector employees had access to this perk at the beginning of 2022. Top-paid workers are more likely to receive student loan assistance from an employer than lower-paid workers. And 7% of employees in management occupations are most likely to receive loan repayment as a benefit. 

If you’re fortunate enough to be in the top-paid demographic of workers, you’ll be more likely to come across employers who offer student loan assistance. But regardless of how much you earn and what sector you work in, you can find companies that offer this benefit. Below are a few tips.

Target Large Employers

Large employers are more likely to offer financial wellness benefits, including student loan repayment programs. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 72% of firms with 10,000 or more employees offered some kind of financial wellness program in 2021, compared with 44% of employers with 2,500 to 9,999 employees and 41% for those with 500 to 2,499 employees. 

Use Keywords on Job Search Sites

Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and other job search sites let you use keywords to refine your search. Add “student loan repayment” or “student loan assistance” to your searches to see employers that offer this benefit. 

Try Goodly’s Free Jobs Finder Tool

Student loan benefits provider Goodly has a free tool that indexes employers who offer student loan repayment. Employers do not have to be Goodly clients in order to be included. Each listing shows how many open jobs the employer is currently hiring for and offers links to apply.

Once you identify employers that offer this benefit, you’ll be able to target jobs at these companies. Check in frequently for new openings or set up job alerts to notify you when new positions become available. 


If you’re employed by a non-profit or local, state, federal, or tribal government, you may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). The Office of Federal Student Aid provides information on how to apply for loan forgiveness through this program.

Can You Negotiate Student Loan Repayment? 

Typically, non-salary compensation is determined before you negotiate a job offer. An employer might offer you a choice of health insurance programs, for example, but they’re unlikely to change the terms of the individual choices offered. In reality, once contracts are set with various benefits providers, there's rarely much wiggle room. 

However, there’s always the possibility that a potential employer isn’t aware that they can offer a tax-free student loan repayment benefit of up to $5,250. In that case, if negotiations are proceeding well, you might mention it as an option. Most of the time, you’ll be better off negotiating more flexible perks such as paid time off, telecommuting privileges, or an expedited performance review (which will hopefully lead to a raise). 


Don’t forget to negotiate your salary. It's the most immediately useful aspect of your compensation.

Although more than half of candidates accept job offers without negotiating, studies show that those who ask tend to get a higher salary. Fidelity Investments reported that 87% of professionals who negotiate job offers get higher pay or better benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most common employee benefits?

Some of the most common employee benefits are health insurance, employee assistance programs, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, and wellness programs.

Can your employer pay off your student loans?

Employers can offer student loan repayment as an employee benefit. Employers can make annual tax-exempt payments of $5,250 per employee to help pay for student loans.

Was this page helpful?
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2020 - May 2021." 

  2. Employee Benefit Research Institute. "2021 EBRI Financial Wellbeing Employer Survey: Focus on COVID-19 and Diversity Goals."

  3. Google. "Helping Googlers Tackle Student Loan Debt."

  4. NVIDIA. "Paying for College."

  5. IRS. "Fringe Benefit Guide."

  6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Employee Benefits in the United States-March 2022." 

  7. Goodly. "Employers Can Contribute Up to $5,250 Per Year to Your Student Loans."

  8. Federal Student Aid. "Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)." 

  9. Fidelity Investments. "Fidelity Study Shows Young Professionals on the Move: Six-in-Ten Have Changed Jobs During the Pandemic or Expect to Be at a Different Company Within Two Years."

Related Articles