Last month, Colorado Representative Kathleen Collins “KC” Becker proposed legislation that would give some employers tax credits if they made student loan payments on behalf of their employers. The bill could give qualifying workers up to $10,000 a year. The employer would get to deduct half of that amount, in this case, $5,000, from their tax bill.
While legislators debate such proposals in an effort to help Americans deal with their more than $1 trillion dollars in student loan debt, it doesn’t occur to many of the individuals who are actually carrying the burden to ask their employers to help them pay off their loans.
“Many employers will allow you to enter into an employee incentive contract or agreement, offering to pay your student loans as a bonus or perk. In turn, you agree to be a loyal employee and remain with the company for a given period of time, say at least 2 to 3 years,” Cox adds.
Think of it like a perk such as a performance or hiring bonus. Companies offer cash. You’re just offering direction and telling them where you need it most.
As for the best time to ask, Cox says raise the subject the next time you’re up for a raise or performance review. You can also bring it up to a potential employer when you’re job-hunting. You should however, probably wait to bring it up until you have received a firm offer and started to negotiate your salary.