A lot of excitement has been generated by recent news. The US Department of Education canceled nearly $5.8 billion in outstanding student loans, affecting over 500,000 people in debt. It is a fantastic development but look again before you celebrate.
The cancellations affected former students of Corinthian Colleges. This was a large for-profit education company that filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2015 and was sued for false advertising and recruiting. Those students who attended Corinthian Colleges are the only ones who are thus far forgiven any debt.
Nevertheless, this brings hope to an awful lot of people. We agree that it is all exciting, but we suggest that nobody hold their breath about it. Student loan forgiveness is a topic of discussion, but many people oppose it. We believe that it will still be a while before significant amounts of debt obligations are wiped clean. In the meantime, many people are confronted with having to pay a sizable student loan amount.
Employers Can Help
Many organizations appreciate the high levels of education their new employees have achieved. They know the high-tech skills and other business-related knowledge acquired is helping with the bottom line. However, compassionate management understands that these same employees took on a great deal of debt to achieve their college degrees. The burden of repaying those loans is causing many to rethink major decisions and perhaps delay buying homes or starting families.
Employers want to help, and there is a way. Many companies have educational assistance programs that generously assist with current tuitions, but an employer can help those who already have debts by expanding the benefit. Having a companion service that promotes financial wellness will assist those struggling with loan payments. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services has a benefit that management should consider.
The Right Kind of Help
Countrywide has a financial wellness benefit that connects plan members with certified counselors who are experts in financial issues such as college loan debt. We have a counselor working in the community of every Countrywide client, and our financial wellness plan members are given priority attention.
The counselors can advise on how to renegotiate the loan terms and get lower interest rates. In addition, there are specific programs that a plan member might qualify for, and the counselor would point those out in meetings with that person. A counselor can also help develop a budget that makes it easier to meet college loan payments and still save for large purchases such as a house. While we cannot erase the amount of college debt, Countrywide can certainly lighten the anxiety and stress many feel.
We Work with the Client
Countrywide has several financial wellness services that any employee of a client can use, depending on what the client wants. We firmly believe in choice because management knows the workforce better than we do. We explain our benefits to the decision-makers and point out how each service benefits an employee. We then stand back and let the prospective client choose those financial wellness options that will be part of the final plan. Countrywide provides the administration and the member services. We maintain close contact with the client and encourage communication.
One benefit we always offer is empathy. Our counselors are seasoned veterans, but we want more out of them than just expertise. We expect our counselors to have high levels of emotional intelligence. Every plan member is given careful attention, and their concerns are respected.
We offer a financial wellness benefit everyone can use. In addition, some services help with medical bills, buying a house, and dealing with bankruptcy. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about what Countrywide can do and how we can assist your workforce.