This year, 400 lucky college grads will not only land their first “real” job but will also be the beneficiaries of a new student-loan repayment program from an employer.
FIS, a publicly traded provider of technology solutions for merchants, banks, and capital-market firms, just announced this benefit for the U.S.-based college graduates it’ll hire starting in 2021. FIS claims it’s the first employer in the financial-services sector to do so. Only about 4% of private-sector employers offer a similar benefit, up from 3% in 2015.
The benefit comes at a time when student-loan debt is topping $1.5 trillion (yes, with a t) and a whopping 45 million Americans owe money for their education—some of whom weren’t even able to earn their degree. According to data from Experian, that number has risen 116% over the last 10 years.
New hires (no matter their age, so it applies to those who graduated later in life as well) who come through the FIS University program will begin getting the principal on their student-loan debt balance paid after one year and will receive a complete principal debt payoff after spending 10 years with the company. FIS is also committing to doubling the representation of Black and Latinx leaders at its firm at a time when the racial gap in student-loan debt is growing. Black college graduates are carrying nearly twice as much student-loan debt as their white counterparts as they begin their careers.
“As the company that empowers the financial and commerce world by advancing the way the world pays, banks, and invests, it’s important that we invest in the future generation of FIS leaders,” Gary Norcross, FIS chairman and CEO, said in a statement.