Memphis becomes first U.S. City to Offer Student Loan Assistance to Employees

June 9, 2017

This week, the City of Memphis announced the rollout of the Student Loan Reduction Program, a new benefit to help employees who are burdened by student loans. Memphis is the first city in the nation to offer this innovative benefit.  Memphis’ move provides further evidence that student loan assistance is gaining steam as an employee benefit that is valuable in attracting and retaining today’s young workers.

Beginning July 1, eligible Memphis city workers will receive monthly contributions of $50. The contributions will go toward principal repayment, helping employees retire their debt faster. The program is being administered by

“We are proud to be the first municipality in the country to offer this kind of student debt assistance to our workforce. We view this as an important investment in our employees,” said Alex Smith, City of Memphis Chief Human Resources Officer.

Student loan debt is a widespread issue among today’s workforce. Total student debt outstanding exceeds $1.4 trillion. Student loan debt in Memphis grew by nearly five percent in 2016, compared with slightly more than three percent growth nationally.

“As the first major American city to embrace student loan assistance, Memphis is proving itself to be a leader in understanding and catering to the needs of today’s workers,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of “Their initiation of this program should be a clarion call for other municipalities to follow suit. The burden of student loan debt is not a problem limited to private sector employees, and cities both large and small have significant numbers of workers who can benefit from debt reduction programs.”

To qualify for the program, an employee must be an active, full-time employee for at least 12 months.

The city is utilizing’s technology to coordinate payments directly to the employees’ student loan service providers.