MidWestOne Bank helps employees pay off student debt

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MidWestOne Bank, which operates 44 branches in five states, has upgraded its student loan debt reduction benefit to include part-time employees.

The benefit, which launched in May in collaboration with Tuition.io, provides about 103 employees with $50 to $100 per month for student loan repayment, says Cathi Weber, vice president of HR at MidWestOne Bank, who works out of its Minneapolis office. MidWestOne’s headquarters are based in Iowa City, IA.

Full-time employees who have been at the company for more than four years receive $100 a month, with a $10,000 lifetime cap, while full-time employees with less than four years at the bank receive $75 a month. Those employees will receive the full $100 when they enter their fifth year with the bank, Weber says.

Part-time employees must work a minimum of 28 hours per week and have at least 30 days of service to qualify for the $50 benefit, according to the company.

Eligible employees receive an email, where they can directly enroll with Tuition.io, a Santa Monica, California-based company that facilitates employer-sponsored student loan payments.

See also: Congressman Davis details bill to help employers offer student-loan repayment benefits

Employees have full control over the amount of money that goes toward various loans, says Weber. For example, one employee might opt to put the full $100 on a loan with the highest interest rate while another may designate $25 for each of her four loans.

“As the employer, I don’t know how much loan debt the person has,” Weber says. “I know who’s participating and the total amount that people have, collectively.”

Although the benefit is only for loans in an employee’s name — children or spouses with student debt cannot receive the benefit — Weber says they may consider expanding it in the future.

“Companies need to think beyond their company and think about this benefit not only helping its employees but helping the community,” she says. “In the long term, student loan repayment is going to make a stronger workforce.”

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