MassMutual is extending its student loan refinance program, in partnership with CommonBond, to the workplace.
The program, which began in July as an offering through MassMutual’s network of roughly 9,000 financial advisors, will now be available to the 2.6 million employees who have access to the firm’s retirement plans.
It features flexible terms and competitive interest rates to help people take control of their student debt, which has exploded to over $1.5 trillion owed by roughly 44 million people. That’s about an average $34,000 per person, equivalent to a payment of several hundred dollars per month. Borrowers who refinance with private lenders, however, cannot take advantage of federal government programs such as income-based repayment or public service loan forgiveness plans.
“Student loan debt is at epidemic proportions and is preventing many workers from securing their financial futures,” said Paul Lapiana, head of product at MassMutual. “We’re offering CommonBond as part of a broader program to help workers extinguish their student loans and move on with their financial lives.”
The program can help student loan debtors potentially pay off their loans faster and save hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest. It is available through MassMutual’s MapMyFinances wellness site, which helps users prioritize their personal finance and benefits needs based on their family situation and budget.
Also available on that site is another MassMutual program introduced last year that allows employers to make payments toward an employee’s student loan, whether they were the student or the parent of one who took out a Parent PLUS loan on their child’s behalf.
“Addressing, managing and paying off student loan debts is a huge priority for many Americans,” Lapiana said.
It’s increasingly becoming a benefit that employers are offering employees to keep and to attract talent.
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