Terminix employees won’t be bugged by student loans again

College.Grads.Bloomberg.8.14.jpg
Register now

As student loan debt is set to reach $2 trillion, more employers are expanding their benefits to help employees get a handle on this burden. ServiceMaster, the parent company of pest control and termite exterminator business Terminix, is the latest employer to launch a student loan debt repayment benefit for employees.

Since December, ServiceMaster has worked with Tuition.io to contribute $50 per month to those members of its 10,000 employee population in need of student debt relief. The benefit is available across ServiceMaster’s portfolio of brands, which includes AmeriSpec, Furniture Medi and Merry Maids.

“We added the student loan repayment program to modernize our benefits,” says Pam deVeer, vice president of total rewards and human resources at ServiceMaster. “The financial health and well-being of our employees and their families is one of our key priorities and is as important to us as their physical and mental health.”

The average student loan payment is between $200 and $300 per month, according to Student Loan Hero, a platform for managing and eliminating student loans and personal debt. It can take borrowers up to 20 years to pay off the full amount of their loan, according to the Department of Education. With ServiceMaster’s monthly contribution, the average participant could save 17 months of payments and $6,600 if they remained in the program until payoff.

“Forward-thinking employers like ServiceMaster understand the needs of today’s workers and are offering their employees a lifeline in student loan repayment to ease the stress of this monumental financial burden,” Scott Thompson, CEO of Tuition.io, says.

About 45 million Americans across all age groups, job titles and industries are struggling with student loan debt. Indeed, student loan debt is the second highest form of debt in the U.S., second only to mortgages, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

“We are sensitive to the impact crushing student debt has on our employee's lives to the point of distraction while they're at work,” deVeer says. “It's a financial stressor that hurts marriages and creates mental health issues. When the team initially came together to discuss this program, we could see no downsides. It enabled us to alleviate some of our employees' financial stress while potentially attracting a new pool of talent at the same time.”

Employer provided student loan relief is a growing trend, as 8% of employers offer the benefit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. That figure doubled from 2018 to 2019.

“We see our contribution toward the repayment of student debt as a competitive advantage toward talent recruitment in terms of attracting a diverse workforce,” deVeer says. “However, this is also a tool to retain valuable talent like longtime employees who may want to go back to school. The age of employees currently participating in our program ranges across all years, highlighting the reality that student loan debt is carried throughout the years.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.