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The 7 Ways Student Loan Debt Affects Your Employees' Day to Day Lives

stressed employee sitting at desk

Last Update: March 6, 2023

As an HR professional, you are no doubt aware of the growing problem of student loan debt among employees

Even though the issue starts with students, it extends far beyond life in school, affecting the day-to-day lives of many employees and their ability to achieve personal milestones.1

As employers, it's vital to grasp the magnitude of this problem and its far-reaching implications on our workforce. 

Employees who have taken out loans to fund their education may be grappling with repayment plans that span over decades. The financial strain can be crippling, leading to deferred life goals, limited lifestyle choices, and depleted savings.2

It's our obligation as employers to acknowledge the significant impact of student loan debt on our employees' financial and emotional stability. 

We must take the initiative to enhance financial education and implement solutions to alleviate the pressure of student loan debt for our workforce.

In the following sections, we will outline seven major ways that student loan debt can affect your employees day to day life and offer suggestions on how to mitigate its impact.

1. Financial Strain

Student loan debt can create a large financial burden for your employees, reducing their disposable income and limiting their ability to save for the future. 

The stress of managing debt payments can also affect their mental and physical health, leading to anxiety, depression, and illness.

2. Delayed Milestones

The burden of student loan debt can delay employees' ability to achieve important life milestones, such as buying a home or starting a family. This delay can have a lasting impact on their overall financial stability and emotional well-being.3

3. Career Choices

Heavy student loans can also limit your employees' ability to pursue the careers they want, as they may need to choose a job that pays more rather than one that aligns with their passions and interests.4

4. Retirement Planning

Student loan debt can also affect your employees' ability to save for retirement. 

Keep Reading: How Financial Wellness Programs Help Employees Retire On Time

With a significant portion of their income going towards debt repayment, they may not have enough left over to contribute to a retirement fund.

5. Education and Training

Employees with student loan debt may be hesitant to pursue additional education or training, fearing that it will add to their already considerable debt burden. This can limit their professional growth and opportunities.4

6. Personal Relationships

The stress of student loan debt can spill over into employees' personal lives, affecting their relationships with family and friends. It can be challenging to maintain healthy relationships when financial stress is a constant source of tension.

7. Mental and Physical Health

Finally, the burden of student loan debt can take a toll on your employees' mental and physical health, leading to stress, anxiety, and depression. This can affect their ability to perform well at work and lead to other health problems over time.

How Employers Can Help

As employers, it's important to support our employees through the crushing weight of student loan debt. 

Offering financial education programs and resources for loan repayment can provide a lifeline in turbulent financial waters. These resources can help employees navigate the complexities of debt repayment, reducing the stress and pressure of this heavy burden.

Other solutions such as alternative funding sources, such as scholarships, grants, and work-study programs, can help alleviate the burden of student loan debt. 

These alternative funding sources can help reduce the amount of debt that employees must take on, opening up a world of possibilities and easing the financial strain of education.

Take Action With Financial Wellness Programs

As you can see, the impact of student loan debt on your employees' day-to-day lives is significant and far-reaching. As an employer, it is important to be aware of this issue and provide support to employees who are struggling with debt. 

Employers must take proactive steps to help our employees tackle the challenges of student loan debt, providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Consider using specialized financial education resources, debt management tools, or even student loan repayment assistance as part of your benefits package. By taking action, you can help ease the burden of student loan debt and promote the overall well-being of your employees.

Enrich’s personalized financial wellness programs can play a pivotal role in providing employees with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of debt repayment and achieve financial stability. 



1 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2022/05/16/student-loan-debt-statistics-in-2022-a-record-17-trillion

2 - https://www.npr.org/2022/06/05/1103145061/college-debt-is-one-of-the-largest-financial-burdens-young-people-face-today

3 - https://stories.td.com/us/en/article/td-bank-survey-finds-americans-spend-more-than-20-of-their-take-home-pay-on-student-loan-debt-impacting-their-long-term-financial-health

4 - https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr724.pdf

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