CommonBond’s Latest Study Reveals the Missing Benefit in Employee Financial Wellness

On Tuesday, CommonBond, an online lending platform servicing the student loan market, released the results of one of the most comprehensive employee financial wellness benefits studies to date. According to the lender, the research revealed the extent to which student debt affects employees’ financial wellness, as well as how companies are meeting, or not meeting,  the financial wellness needs of their employees.

The study, which included more than 1,500 workers across five industries, in addition to more than 500 human resources executives, reported that the effects of student loan debt in the workplace, and how human resources teams can improve the financial wellness of their employees. Key findings of the study included:
  • Student debt cuts across all age groups, including parents who are taking out loans for their children: Nearly 75% of all workers have taken out loans to fund their own education, while 21 percent of workers expect to take out a loan for a child or other family member’s education in the next five years. This debt has a serious impact on well-being: employ­ees with student debt were nearly twice as likely to be stressed about their personal finances.
  • Human resources executives prioritize benefits for employees without student debt: For employees with student debt, student loan repayment is the most-requested financial wellness benefit; however, human resources teams rank student loan repayment as their third priority. 
  • Employees do not think their benefits are as innovative as human resources executives believe: 71% of human resources executives see their benefits offering as innovative, compared with 50 percent of employees. 
  • Student loan benefits attract talent, retain employees, and improve work performance: 78% of employees with current or future student loan debt want their employer to offer this benefit, and 65% of employees over age 55 in these categories want the same.

Leigh Gross, Vice President of Partnerships at CommonBond, added:

“From this study, we’ve learned that student loan debt affects a much larger proportion of the workforce than previously realized. Our data also shows that financial wellness programs that feature student loan benefits can increase employee engagement and retention, regardless of age group. From this research, we hope to develop new initiatives that enable human resources executives to offer effective financial wellness benefits, and better engage top talent in this competitive marketplace.”
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