Finding Jobs That Pay Off Student Loans

By Kayla McCormack · September 25, 2023 · 12 minute read

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Finding Jobs That Pay Off Student Loans

Jobs that help pay off a portion of student loans are becoming more common and for a good reason. The average federal student loan borrower has over $37,000 in student loan debt, while borrowers with private student loans owe nearly $55,000, on average.

Companies that help to repay a portion of student loans are in the minority, so you may have to do some research to get student loan assistance as a benefit. To help you, here’s what to know about what’s available, companies that offer this perk, and what you can do to try and negotiate for it.

Types of Job-Based Student Loan Assistance Programs

There are two types of student loan assistance you may receive through an employer: repayment assistance programs where your employer is a participant and repayment assistance benefits your employer offers directly.

Repayment Assistance Programs

Depending on your career field, you may be eligible to receive student loan assistance through a federal or state program. There are several programs for those working in public service careers, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs, which cancel existing balances for eligible borrowers who meet certain requirements.

That said, these programs typically require you to commit to working in a specific job or a certain area (such as medicine, law, or military service, for example) for a set number of years, which can be challenging if you don’t enjoy the job or want to pursue a different career path somewhere else.

But if you fulfill your service obligation, you may get as much as your full student loan balance is forgiven.

Recommended: A Guide to Military Student Loan Forgiveness

Repayment Assistance Benefits

At the start of 2022, about 7% of employers in the U.S. offered student loan repayment assistance as a benefit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The terms of repayment assistance benefits can vary by employer. For example, some may offer to match a portion of the employee’s payments and others may simply pay a set amount toward an employee’s loan balance each month.

The amount you receive from a repayment assistance benefit may be less than what you might get through a government repayment assistance program. But you may not need to commit to a service obligation to qualify, and you may be able to negotiate how much you’ll receive.


💡 Quick Tip: Get flexible terms and competitive rates when you refinance your student loan with SoFi.

Types of Jobs That Offer Student Loan Forgiveness

In order to qualify for certain types of loan forgiveness, borrowers may need to meet certain employment requirements. Here are some of the jobs that could potentially allow someone to qualify for federal student loan forgiveness programs.

1. Federal Agency Employee

The federal student loan repayment program exists for employees of the federal government, and allows a portion of their federal student loans to be paid off each year. The benefit permits for up to $10,000 in payments each calendar year, not to exceed a total of $60,000 for any one employee.

In order to qualify for this student loan repayment assistance, the employee is required to sign onto a minimum three-year contract with the agency. If they leave the agency early, they’ll need to repay any benefits received.

2. Public Service Worker

If you work full-time in the public service sector for a qualifying organization, such as the government or a non-profit, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

To pursue PSLF, borrowers need to have Direct loans and be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. (If you have other types of federal loans, such as Perkins loans, you’ll need to consolidate them into a Direct loan to qualify.) Forgiveness is awarded after making 120 qualifying payments and certifying all employers.

3. Medical Field

The Association of American Medical Colleges maintains a database with information on loan assistance programs for doctors by state.

Medical professionals who work in certain underserved areas may also qualify for loan forgiveness through the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. In this program, medical professionals must commit to working for at least two years at an NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

Refinancing medical school student loans may be another option to consider for medical professionals who are not pursuing any loan forgiveness programs. While refinancing would eliminate loans from any federal forgiveness programs, it could potentially allow borrowers to secure a more competitive interest rate.

4. Automotive Professionals

Professionals in the automotive industry may qualify for loan forgiveness through the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Loan Forgiveness Program. To be eligible, you must work for a SEMA member business and have at least $2,000 in outstanding debt, among other qualifications.

5. Lawyer

In addition to PSLF, there are other lawyer-specific programs that provide assistance to lawyers paying off student loan debt. These include the Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program or John R. Justice (JRJ) Program.

6. Teacher

Student loan forgiveness for teachers is available. Teachers who work in special education are considered highly qualified teachers or work in underserved areas may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. The amount of loan forgiveness available is dependent on the teacher’s area of specialty and can be either up to $17,500 or up to $5,000.

7. Peace Corps

Peace Corps volunteers may be eligible to defer their loans or pursue PSLF. Additionally, while on a qualifying repayment plan, payments could be as low as $0 per month while volunteering.

8. Veterinarian

Veterinarians who work in underserved areas may qualify for up to $25,000 in student loan repayment assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. Eligible veterinarians must agree to serve in a NIFA-designated veterinarian shortage situation for a period of three years to qualify.

15 Major Companies that Repay Student Loans

Hundreds of large and small employers offer jobs that pay off student loans, but it’s not always easy to find out which ones provide the benefit. To help you get started, here are 15 well-known companies that repay student loans.

1. Abbott Laboratories

The company’s Freedom 2 Save program functions a bit differently than other repayment assistance benefits in that it combines efforts to pay off student loan debt and save for retirement.

Full- and part-time employees who qualify for the company’s 401(k) plan and contribute at least 2% of their eligible pay toward student loan repayment will receive a 5% contribution to their 401(k) account. Employee contributions to their 401(k) contributions aren’t required to receive these funds.

2. Aetna

In addition to a tuition reimbursement program, healthcare company Aetna also matches student loan payments for eligible employees who meet certain requirements. For full-time employees, the program matches student loan payments up to $2,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of up to $10,000 for qualifying loans. For part-time employees, the program matches up to $1,000 a year, with a lifetime maximum of $5,000.

3. Ally Financial

Financial services company Ally provides $100 per month toward student loan payments, with a lifetime maximum cap of $10,000. The company also reimburses tuition up to $10,000 per year to help employees keep educational debt to a minimum.

4. Chegg

Education company Chegg has paid out more than $1 million toward employee student loan debt through its Equity for Education benefit. For entry-level employees through manager level, those who have worked at the company for at least 2 years receive up to $5,000 annually. Employees at the director or vice-president level can receive up to $3,000 annually.

5. Estee Lauder

The beauty company provides employees with $100 per month in student loan assistance, up to a lifetime maximum of $10,000.

6. Fidelity

As an employee of the investment brokerage firm, you may be eligible to receive up to $15,000 toward your student loan payments.

7. Google

Google matches up to $2,500 in loan payments per employee each year.

8. Hulu

Streaming service Hulu pays up to $1,200 a year per employee to match their student loan payments.

9. Live Nation

Entertainment company Live Nation Live Nation matches employee contributions of up to $100 per month, or $1,200 a year. The lifetime maximum is $6,000 in benefits. Employees must be employed with the company for at least six months to qualify.

10. New York Life

New York Life’s student loan assistance program, Vault Pay, contributes $170 per month over five years toward student loans that are in good standing. In other words, employees can receive up to $10,200 while enrolled in the program.

11. Nvidia

If you’ve graduated within the last three years, Nvidia will match your student loan payments dollar for dollar up to $3500 per month. The lifetime cap is $30,000 in assistance. To be eligible, you must be a full-time or part-time U.S. employee working 20 hours or more per week.

12. Penguin Random House

New York Life’s student loan assistance program, Vault Pay, contributes $170 per month over five years toward student loans that are in good standing. In other words, employees can receive up to $10,200 while enrolled in the program.

13. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

As a participating associate or senior associate, you can receive $1,200 in student loan payments each year. The company estimates that this benefit can help to reduce student loan principal and interest by up to $10,000, and shorten loan payoff by up to three years.

14. SoFi

As an employee with SoFi, you’ll get $200 each month in student loan repayment assistance. The company also provides free financial classes.

15. Staples

Eligible employees for the Staples student loan assistance program include active, full-time U.S. associates with at least one outstanding loan obligation. Participants must also have obtained or are in the process of receiving a degree from an accredited institution. The company pays $100 per month toward loan principal for 36 months.

How Is Student Loan Assistance Taxed?

If you receive student loan assistance or cancellation, it’s important to understand the tax consequences. Depending on the situation, you could be responsible for a tax bill.

The IRS typically considers canceled debt to be taxable income. That includes most student loan debt forgiveness or discharge, except for PSLF. However, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 exempts borrowers who are working toward loan forgiveness from having their forgiven balances taxed if their loans were discharged between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2025. This only applied to federal taxes, though, and some states may still require forgiven student loans to be taxed as income.

As for employer-sponsored assistance programs, a temporary pandemic-era provision allows employers to contribute up to $5,250 per year in tax-free funds toward qualified education costs for employees. Any contributions above that amount are considered taxable income for the employee. However, this special tax treatment expires December 31, 2025, after which any amount of employer payments or reimbursements for education expenses or student loan repayment will be taxed as income.



💡 Quick Tip: Refinancing could be a great choice for working graduates who have higher-interest graduate PLUS loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and/or private loans.

Negotiating a Student Loan Repayment Benefit

If you’re looking for a job, keep an eye out for companies that repay student loans as an employee benefit. If you can’t find one, you can still try to negotiate the benefit into your total compensation. Here are some ways to do it.

Doing Your Research

Resources such as Payscale and Glassdoor can help give you an idea of the salary and benefits that may be available from various companies. Look at what the company you’re interested in typically offers as well as what you might get with a similar position somewhere else.

If anything, this process can give you a better idea of what you’re worth. But it will also give you a benchmark that you can use to negotiate for student loan repayment benefits, along with other aspects of your compensation.

Making Your Interests Clear

Helping a potential employer understand why student loan repayment is important to you can help set the stage for the entire conversation.

In addition to salary, employers can consider several other factors to make up your total compensation. So knowing what’s most important to you can help them make a more attractive offer.

Asking for a Signing Bonus Instead of Monthly Payments

While a signing bonus isn’t specifically designed as a student loan repayment benefit, you can use it that way. In fact, making a lump sum payment toward your student loans could help you accelerate your student loan debt repayment timeline.

Recommended: How to Negotiate Your Signing Bonus

Asking for the Opportunity to Revisit the Request in the Future

If you can’t manage to persuade a potential employer to provide you with student loan assistance, that may not be the end of it. You could ask for the chance to talk about your compensation again in six months or a year.

During that time, you may be able to prove to your employer that it’s worth the investment on their part. Or you may have planted a seed for the employer to create a student loan repayment benefit for all employees.

Making Student Loan Repayment a Priority

Whether or not you can find jobs that pay off student loans, you can still make it a priority to eliminate your student debt as quickly as possible. A student loan repayment assistance benefit can help you achieve that goal, but it can’t do it on its own.

As such, it’s essential to consider other options to save money, such as refinancing your student loans. While refinancing can be a helpful option for some borrowers, it won’t make sense for everyone. If federal student loans are refinanced, they’ll lose eligibility for federal programs and benefits, such as PSLF or income-driven repayment plans.

If you qualify, you may be able to reduce your interest rate or your monthly payment. With a lower interest rate you could potentially save money over the life of your loan.

The Takeaway

Many companies offer student loan repayment assistance as a part of their employee benefits package. Some jobs might also offer the opportunity for the borrower to apply for student loan forgiveness. For example, there are programs available for medical professionals, teachers, and those that work in the government or non-profit sector.

Another opportunity for managing student loans is refinancing, which could allow qualifying borrowers to lower their interest rates — making the loan more affordable in the long run. If you’re interested in refinancing, consider the options available at SoFi.

Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.


With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.

FAQ

What careers pay off student loans fastest?

High-paying jobs may help borrowers repay their student loans quickly. However, some jobs may allow borrowers to pursue a loan forgiveness program. While these programs may not expedite the repayment process, they could help make student loan repayment more manageable.

What companies pay off student loans?

Companies including SoFi, Fidelity, Penguin Random House, and Nvidia all offer student loan repayment assistance programs. Specific benefits vary by company.

What kind of jobs qualify for student loan forgiveness?

The type of job that qualifies for student loan forgiveness may vary depending on the program. Jobs in the government or non-profit sector may qualify a borrower for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Teachers may qualify for Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness programs. Some medical professionals may qualify for programs such as the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.


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