The City of Memphis, pictured above, became the first city to offer student debt contributions to city employees.

The City of Memphis will soon be rolling out the Student Loan Reduction Program, a new benefit to help employees who are burdened by student loans according to a press release supplied by PR Newswire.

With the desire to build and retain an engaged workforce, Memphis is the first city in the United States to offer such a benefit.

Starting on July 1st, eligible city workers in Memphis will receive monthly payments of $50. The contributions will go toward principal repayment, aiding employees to repay their debt faster. To qualify for the program, an employee must be an active, full-time employee for a minimum of 12 months.

"We are proud to be the first municipality in the country to offer this kind of student debt assistance to our workforce. We view this as an important investment in our employees," said Alex Smith, City of Memphis Chief Human Resources Officer.

The program is being administered by Tuition.io, the leading platform for employee student loan contributions. The City of Memphis will utilize Tuition.io’s technology to arrange payments directly to the worker’s student loan service provider.

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“As the first major American city to embrace student loan assistance, Memphis is proving itself to be a leader in understanding and catering to the needs of today’s workers,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of Tuition.io. “Their initiation of this program should be a clarion call for other municipalities to follow suit. The burden of student debt is not a problem limited to private sector employees, and cities both large and small have significant numbers of workers who can benefit from debt reduction programs.”

Student loan debt has become a troublesome, and prevalent issue among employees today. According to The Student Loan Report, the national student loan debt currently sits at $1.41 trillion. Additionally, roughly 70 percent of college students are student loan borrowers, and on average, they each owe $27,857.

In 2016, student loan debt in Memphis grew by nearly five percent, compared with a little more than three percent growth nationally.

Image Copyright © Shannon Tompkins