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New Survey Shows a Workforce Eager for Student Loan Benefits

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill.Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IonTuition.com, the leading education-fintech company specializing in helping borrowers monitor, manage, and repay their student loans, today announced the results of a new survey that shows employees want student loan repayment benefits as they struggle to make their monthly payments.

Average student loan debt now exceeds $37,000 per graduate entering the workforce. IonTuition surveyed 2,712 adults who are currently employed and have experience with student loan borrowing and repayment in order to examine how employers could best offer assistance and guidance throughout the student loan repayment process.

According to the survey, almost two-thirds (65.4%) of respondents have experienced difficulty making their student loan payments, while nearly one-third (32.4%) lack confidence in their ability to pay off their student loans in full.

It's not surprising that close to 90 percent (87.7%) of those surveyed said they would consider it an important benefit if their employer introduced a student loan contribution program.

Click here for survey report.

The survey also found:

  • More than 50 percent (51.3%) of respondents claim that they did not receive counseling before accepting the terms of their loans, despite the fact that counseling is required when taking out a federal student loan. Federal loans account for approximately 90% of all outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. This shows that borrowers may find the obligatory counseling to be inadequate or ineffective in preparing them for repayment. 
  • Insufficient counseling could also be why over 60 percent (61.9%) believe their student loan payments are (or were) too high, and almost half (48%) of those surveyed are unaware of their student loan interest rate. Furthermore, more than one in three (35.6%) respondents feel that they lack an understanding of their student loan repayment options.
  • Nearly 60 percent (59.6%) of those who report feeling unprepared to pay back their loans are also unaware of their options if they are unable to afford their payments. As a result, almost 60 percent (57.8%) of all respondents believe it would be beneficial if their employer provided information and online tools to assist with student loan management.
  • In fact, almost half (48.4%) of all respondents said they would find a hotline to learn about income-driven repayment beneficial and close to two-thirds (64.1%) said that one-on-one student loan counseling would be a valuable benefit.
  • Fewer than half of employees surveyed (46.8%) have a credit score above 680, making it difficult or impossible to qualify for re-finance programs that an employer can offer, whereas student loan repayment assistance serves all employees with student loans, including millennials that are still building their credit profiles. Unfortunately, 14 percent of respondents don't know what their credit score is and a fifth (19.2%) of those aren't sure whether their score is likely to be good or bad.

"As businesses look to help employees with their student loan debt, they should consider the variety of assistance programs available," said Balaji "Raj" Rajan, CEO of IonTuition. "There are options for employers who find refinance programs too restrictive or contribution payments prohibitive. With IonTuition, we've built a platform that puts repayment optimization in any employee's grasp, with or without employer-provided payments."

The IonTuition.com portal provides employers with an elective benefit for their employees, helping them set up student loan payments via payroll deduction, establish optimal repayment strategies and monitor their student loans. The company delivers interactive, user-friendly tools that guide current and former college students through the education finance process, customized to fit the evolving goals and life circumstances of each user. IonTuition users can call a toll free number, email or chat online with trained student loan counselors for more complex resolutions.

For partnership inquiries, visit iontuition.com/Partnership/Employers or call 888.853.8323.

About IonTuition™
IonTuition provides employers and colleges with a web-based student loan management platform their employees and students can use to better understand, manage and optimize repayment of their student loans. IonTuition displays loans – both federal and private – in a single, user-friendly dashboard. Employees from participating companies can also pay down their loan debt using iontuition.com which processes employer contributions to accelerate repayment. In addition to an ROI-based college selection tool and member discount program, users are connected to expert student loan counselors, financial literacy content and a monitoring service that keeps them aware of critical changes to their loans via email, text, and mobile app alerts. Learn more at IonTuition.com.

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