The federal student loan payment pause may be over, but the challenges faced by borrowers remain stronger than ever. The past few years have been marked by uncertainty and confusion with repeated extensions of the pause and ongoing debate about mass debt relief. This past fall's historic return to repayment has been incredibly difficult. Traditional support from loan servicers is lacking with long wait times, high abandonment rates, and inaccurate invoices (Source: cbsnews.com). While these circumstances seem dire, the year ahead offers a renewed opportunity for schools and employers to provide much needed support and in turn win the appreciation of alum and employees.
Turning Struggle Into Success
Student loan debt remains a major financial obstacle for millions, especially younger workers. Prior to the payment pause, 53% of federal borrowers already struggled with bills like mortgages and auto loans (Source: creditkarma.com). Once the pause ended, 40% of federal student loan borrowers missed their first payment (Source: blog.ed.gov). While it’s sad to think of the struggles student loan borrowers are facing, current circumstances have created a golden opportunity for schools and employers to step up and offer a lifeline through student loan repayment support.
Now more than ever, people are looking to their schools and employers to provide student loan repayment assistance and support. This creates a win-win scenario for both schools and employers. For schools, students considering the value of higher education often make decisions about enrollment based on how well an institution’s alums are able to repay their loans. Schools whose alum struggle with repayment may get passed over. For employers, the current competitive job market means companies who offer student loan support are more likely to attract and retain top talent.
Additionally, the new SECURE 2.0 Act was legislatively approved last year. One feature of the act allows employers to provide a matching retirement account contribution based on an employee making a student loan payment. It's drawing interest because it helps employees save for the future while still meeting current obligations.
Attigo by Ascendium is Ready to Help
Looking at the year ahead, Attigo is primed and ready to help. We’ve worked nonstop for decades to hone our approach and solutions, to help people more easily manage their student loan debt. Driven by a nonprofit mission to help, we recognize the critical role we play in supporting both higher education professionals and employers as they work to support their alums and staff. Our extensive experience and deep understanding of borrower struggles, complicated regulations, policies, and programs puts us in a unique position to make a real difference in the lives of people who have student loans. From student loan repayment assistance to student loan repayment support, we’re ready to help you make 2024 the start of a new era in student loan support.