college

A New Way to Pay Down Your Student Debt

Companies and rural areas offer tax breaks and other benefits.

As the job market continues to tighten, cities, states and private employers are offering prospective employees a new perk: help in paying off their student loans.

Maine, for example, is providing tax credits to student loan borrowers who live and work in the state if they graduated from any U.S. college in 2016 or later. Eli­gible residents can subtract their loan payments for the year from their state tax liability. Borrowers who studied science, technology, engineering or math will receive a check if they pay more toward their student loans than they owe in taxes. Other places that offer financial incentives to student loan borrowers include the state of Kansas and Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Private employers are helping with student debt, too. Employers that offer the benefit, including Aetna, Hulu and PricewaterhouseCoopers, typically offer a monthly or annual payout over several years. Last year, about 4% of companies offered repayment benefits, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. As more companies shy away from salary bumps in favor of bolstering benefits, more will likely begin to assist with student loans.

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