This fintech company will pay off student loans for employees

BY Sydney LakeMay 07, 2021, 3:00 AM
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Fortune 500 fintech company FIS wants to help you pay off your student loans.

The Jacksonville-based firm will start to make a dent in employees’ student loan debt through one of its existing cohort programs. 

FIS, which provides payment processing services and employs 55,000 people worldwide, hires 1,000 people annually—400 of which will be chosen to participate in the 2021 university program. Among the benefits of the program: FIS promises to pay off principal student debt within 10 years, no matter the size of the loan. 

“This is about bringing talent into the company and then solving another problem for those who have student loan debt,” says Denise Williams, chief people officer at FIS. 

In undertaking this initiative to help solve the problem of student debt, FIS hopes to distinguish itself from other employers and encourage prospects to join the company, Williams says. Student debt afflicts 44.7 million borrowers and totals more than $1.57 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.

Why companies might want to tackle student debt

Fortune 500 companies including New York Life and Abbott Laboratories as well as other giants like Google and PwC have also recently started paying off employees’ student loan debt. 

A CARES Act provision allows employers to contribute up to $5,250 annually per employee toward education expenses, including loan assistance, without raising an employee’s gross taxable income. Google announced in September 2020 that it would match up to $2,500 annually per employee in student loan payments to help Googlers pay off debt faster.

“Lack of financial resources should not prevent someone from accessing the opportunities that come with education,” John Casey, Google’s director of global benefits, wrote in a September 2020 blog post. New York Life in 2017 launched a student loan repayment program, which offers $10,200 during a five-year stint for eligible employees. 

There’s no cap on the amount that FIS will contribute to employees’ principal student debt. Plans are individualized to be paid off monthly depending upon the amount and type of the employee’s loans. Payments will be made through a third-party administrator, which FIS has not yet identified.

“As long as you’re here, we’re paying your student loan debt,” Williams says. 

Employees who are hired as part of the FIS 2021 university program and are employed by the company for one year qualify for the benefit. The program also allows participants to make rotations through different job functions during a two-year period. Participants will work on team projects and in community service, and will attend professional development seminars and performance reviews.

“It’s about bringing in people who are the future of the company,” Williams says.