frequently asked questions
- Is Tuition.io a refinancing company or lender?No. Tuition.io is not a financial institution, bank, or lender. We do not originate, refinance, or consolidate loans. In some cases a user’s loan situation may call for refinancing. We partner with LendKey for refinancing.
- What are Student Loan Contributions?Student Loan Contributions offer a real solution to the growing student loan debt burden of your employees. Companies are now able to make payments toward their employees’ student loans as a valuable new benefit. Student loan contribution payments made
through a third-party servicer, such as Tuition.io, can be applied as a secondary payment to principal saving employees interest and time. Alternatively, payment can be applied toward helping satisfy their minimum monthly payment to ease the immediate financial hardship of monthly student loan payments or to be useful to employees pursuing loan forgiveness.
- Why consider student loan contributions in your benefit strategy?The national student loan debt burden is now nearly $1.7 trillion and impacts more than 44 million borrowers. Over 70% of recent graduates enter the workforce with student loans that on average take 21 years to repay. Recent studies show the burden of student loan debt disproportionately sits with women and BIPOC. By offering programs to help employees get out of debt, employers can take an active role to promote fairness and equity among all employees. Student loan debt is the number one concern for recent graduates and the fastest growing among individuals > 60 years old. Growing student loan debt is limiting your employees’ ability to save and plan, impacting the value of other benefits including 401(k)s and causing undue stress in the workplace.
Beyond the young professionals entering the workforce, consider the employees staying in the workforce past retirement age to continue repayment on their ParentPLUS loans (a loan taken by an employee for their child’s education). Student Loan Debt is far more pervasive in the workforce than most initially assume.
- How would offering student loan contributions benefit the company?In a recent poll (502 employees between 22-33 years old), nearly 90% said they would commit to a job for five years if given assistance with student loan repayment.
Tuition.io first year clients see improvement in retention ranging from 20-80%. Recruiting and retention are expensive for employers, and benefits that prompt this level of interest make sense. We can help you estimate the ROI of offering a contribution benefit based on your specific workforce goals.
- How do companies design this benefit?Plan design is critical to the success of a student loan contribution program. Tuition.io has expert partner success team members who will work with you to design a plan that meets your goals. Our team will help you understand key eligibility criteria for plans that aim to meet diversity and inclusion goals. We can also help you design a plan to target specific high need roles within your organization.
Some clients choose to implement the benefit for the whole population, some choose to offer the benefit to specific populations for key strategic initiatives - it’s entirely your choice.
- We don’t know how many employees could be eligible. How do you figure that out?Participation is related to specific employee demographics and the inclusivity of your program. Typical adoption ranges from 15-30% depending on program design and eligibility criteria. Tuition.io can perform a census analysis to identify a more accurate company-specific estimation. You can also use the calculator on our website to get a rough estimate of your annual contribution costs based on the number of eligible employees.
Reach out to email@example.com for assistance with this exercise.
- I’m concerned that this benefit may be too exclusive to offer?Student loan debt is not exclusive. Student loan debt has a greater impact on BIPOC and women. We see participants of all ages with student loan debt and individuals >60 are the fastest growing group of borrowers. Feedback and requests from employees to management post-launch are often from employees that have loans but do not receive the benefit due to eligibility exclusions. For this reason we recommend following Tuition.io best practices for inclusivity.
- Why should clients consider this benefit now?The need to address retention is paramount in almost every organization. Extensive training and development investments may never be realized if employees continue to leave an organization for marginal pay increases. It is becoming more clear that employers with student loan contribution programs have first mover advantage. Differentiating your company as an Employer of Choice often means winning key hires and retaining your best talent. Student loan contributions speak volumes to the market.
- Why Tuition.io?Tuition.io, established in 2012 as the market leading student loan management and optimization tool for consumers, was the first company to launch student loan contribution programs in 2015. Tuition.io facilitates employer payments electronically to both federal student loan servicers and private lending institutions. Tuition.io is an objective platform dedicated to the financial management of higher education. Employees can plan their way out of student loan debt with clear and powerful student loan repayment tools. Whether pursuing loan forgiveness, finding the lowest monthly payment, or looking to get out of debt ASAP, we have automated tools to help borrowers find the best options for their goals. We have free student loan coaches available to help five days a week. Through the management portal enterprise-level analytics on program performance and organizational student debt levels are easily accessible. Extensive measures are taken to ensure data privacy and security and we have met the most stringent compliance requirements.
- How quickly can we get started?Tuition.io recommends an eight week implementation timeline. However, we can work at your pace. We recommend planning for at least 3 weeks for simple programs. Great effort is made to coordinate with Information Security, IT, Communications, HR and Benefits Administration, and Talent Acquisition to align branding, messaging and integration requirements. Launch dates may be subject to availability during open enrollment season to ensure each launch is given the dedicated attention from our partner success team.
- How are your products priced?When you partner with Tuition.io, your company will pay a monthly fee based on the products you wish to offer your employees. Please contact us for an estimated quote.
- Are there any fees to employees?No, we will never ask your employees to pay for any services.
- How do we handle taxes and payroll deductions?Contributions to your employees are provided in an imputed income file each month for your payroll team to track. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), allows employer-provided student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit to employees under Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. Through 2025, employers can continue to make contributions of up to $5,250 per employee annually toward eligible education expenses, like tuition or student loan assistance, without raising the employee's gross taxable income. Tuition.io tracks the combined $5,250 limit for all eligible educational assistance.
- What HR and/or Benefits Administration platforms can you integrate with?During implementation, we will work with your HRIT Team or benefits administrator to set up a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). We also have Single Sign On functionality available should you choose to set that up.
- How do you protect the privacy of our employees?We take data security extremely seriously. You can read more about our privacy and security policies here. (link to privacy & security page)
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