MassMutual Offers $20,000 for Most Creative Solution to Reduce Student Debt

Facebook best way to ‘engage conversation, create excitement’

MassMutual is using Facebook to address millennials’ often overwhelming student debt, the company announced Monday.

The company is offering $20,000 to a Facebook fan who likes its Down With Debt page and submits the most creative strategy for paying down debt.

MassMutual cited data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus that found consumers owe more than $150 billion in private loans in the United States. To address the burden of debt on millennials, the company launched a Facebook campaign that will run until Feb. 14.

Marie Politis“We see student debt as a timely and important topic,” said Marie Politis (left), vice president of online experience for MassMutual, on Thursday. “There are a lot of people with a lot of student debt. Half of graduates are unemployed or underemployed. We’re trying to address this issue in a meaningful way.”

Facebook users who like the MassMutual Down With Debt page can view tips for reducing debt like making a budget, asking for a raise and reviewing payment options on loans. Politis noted that some of the tips that appear on the Facebook page are their own, but many are offered by participants in the campaign.

“It’s about educating millennials on financial responsibility and giving them an opportunity to learn,” Kathleen Mayko, digital community manager for MassMutual, added.

As of Thursday, the campaign has received 900 entries and added over 1,500 likes, Politis said.

For advisors who are working with millennial clients or with parents of millennials, Mayko said they “need to be aware of where clients are.” Teaching them about expense management and debt management are important. “They need to keep an eye to the future so they can plan the next steps for the best year, the best decade and the best retirement possible.”

Politis noted that while the campaign is being promoted through the company’s Twitter account, website and agents, it’s being implemented through Facebook because it’s the “best place to engage participants in conversation and have a dialogue. Each social media channel is different, and we felt Facebook was the best way to go to create excitement around the topic.”

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