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3 Ways That Student Debt Concerns Negatively Impact The Workplace

November 23rd, 2022

And how you can help clients minimize this impact by presenting the right financial wellness plans.  

Did you know that 42.8 million people who borrowed money for school still owe federal student loan debt in the U.S.? This means that many U.S. workers still have significant debts to pay.  According to The 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey,  debt is a problem for as many as 80% of employees today. As employees struggle to balance bills with looming debts, workplaces feel the impact.

How is it possible for an employee’s student loan debt to affect the entire workforce? Here’s how:

  1. Time. An employee only has so many hours in a day. When working one full-time job or more, many employees are forced to deal with financial problems while at work. This can range from making phone calls and writing emails, to leaving the office or home desk for an in-person visit to the bank. These demands on an employee’s time steal precious hours from their workday, leading to decreased performance.
  2. Stress. Financial problems are one of the biggest causes of stress in a person’s life. When an employee is stressed about their student loan debt, they may be sleeping less; they might be eating less healthy meals, or unable to eat as frequently; they may suffer from headaches or gut issues. All these problems can lead to more sick days off while the employee tries to recover causing  the employee’s work to suffer, ultimately hurting overall productivity.
  3. Employee Retention. Workers agree that their employer has a responsibility to help with their emotional and physical well-being. An employer may find that it’s more difficult to keep and fill positions if they don’t offer satisfactory salaries, benefits, or assistance with student loan debt payments. Financial benefits such as student loan repayment programs and legal protection plans that can help with debt collection, bankruptcy, and assistance with student loan debt.  

But there is hope for employees who are struggling to make ends meet. According to the Washington Post, the White House estimates 20 million loan borrowers could have their debt absolved by executive action. (Or not, as this issue’s legality is being debated in court at the time of this writing.) But if the courts allow student debt forgiveness to move forward, determining eligibility and next steps may be confusing. Employers can help by providing legal benefits to their workforce.

Legal plans to address financial matters like student loan debt can be greatly beneficial to your clients and their employees.  Depending on the legal plan offered, a provider lawyer can:

  • Provide consultation on employees’ state-specific rights
  • Help employees define their eligibility for student loan forgiveness
  • Break down complicated legal jargon
  • Help with debt collection and personal bankruptcy matters

It is always best practice to speak to a lawyer before dealing with important financial decisions. Instead of hiring a lawyer for hundreds of dollars an hour, with LegalShield, employees can access a dedicated law firm provided by their employer for a fraction of the cost.

For more information, contact your PPLSI sales representative.