The CARES Act: What does it mean for employers and employees? 

Info for employers

Info for employees

In a nutshell: As an employer who offers Vault benefits, you can now contribute up to $5,250 tax-exempt dollars toward employees’ student debt balances. 

What changed for borrowers?

Can borrowers continue to make payments?

Yes. Vault advises that borrowers who are financially able to make student loan payments to continue to do so in order to take advantage of lack of interest accrual during this time period. 

What should I do?

The provision enables employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis. Under the provision, an employer may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income.* The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books) provided by the employer. As an employer, you may make one time or multiple payments . The provision applies to any student loan payments made by an employer on behalf of an employee after the date of enactment and before January 1, 2021.

*Note that if you offer multiple education related benefits, you will want to track the amounts contributed to employees. Any amount the exceeds the $5250 cap is subject to taxes. 

3/20/2020

Student loan payment rules are changing daily, and Vault is monitoring those changes.  

The Department of Education has announced that it will allow anyone with federal student loans to enter into administrative forbearance for at least 60 days. 

What is administrative forbearance?

If an individual elects to enter into administrative forbearance, for at least 60 days beginning on March 13, if they have a federal student loan they do not have to make payments on those loans, and interest will not accrue. Please note that this applies to federal loans only.  Private loans are not eligible for this forbearance.

What do employees with loans have to do?

If an individual has federal student loans and cannot make their payments, they must reach out to their servicer and let them know that they wish to enter administrative forbearance. If they were already more than 30 days behind in their payments, their servicer has been directed to place their loans in administrative forbearance, retroactive to March 13.

Can employees still make payments on their federal loans?

Yes. Payments an individual makes during this time will be applied to any outstanding interest that accrued before March 13, and the rest will go towards their principal. Borrowers who are pursuing PSLF or whose payments are manageable will want to continue to make payments to make faster progress toward paying down their loans and completing forgiveness.

What about employer contributions?

Employer contributions will continue to be sent to the loan servicer you have chosen.  Those contributions will be processed as usual by servicers, whether individuals elect to enter into administrative forbearance or not.  

If you would like more information on student loan news, the U.S. Department of Education has published details related to the suspension of student loan payments here.

Here are other resources you might want to check out:

Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents

What you need to know about student loans and the coronavirus pandemic

Nelnet: Important Coronavirus Information

Navient: Update on COVID-19 and your Student Loans 

Great Lakes: COVID-19 Update

FedLoan Servicing: COVID-19 Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

The CARES Act and Employee Student Loans

In a nutshell: As of March 27th, federal student loan servicers are suspending loan payments and setting interest rates to 0% for six months.

What is the CARES Act?

On March 27, 2020 Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, this law provides relief for federal student loan borrowers.  From March 13 to September 30, 2020 federal student loans will be placed in an automatic administrative forbearance (temporary suspension of payments) and a 0% interest period.

Which types of loans are affected by the CARES Act?

       Federally-held student loans

      Direct loans (defaulted and nondefaulted)

      FFEL Program loans (defaulted and nondefaulted) not owned by commercial lenders, and

      Federal Perkins loans not owned by the university you attended

Does this apply to private loans?

No.  Private loans are not subject to the provisions of the CARES Act. 

What is “administrative forbearance”?

Administrative forbearance is a temporary suspension of your payments to your federal loan servicer.

Do I have to apply to have my federal loan payments suspended?

No. Federal loans will be automatically suspended by federal loan servicers.

When does the 0% interest period begin?

The 0% interest period began on March 13, 2020 and runs through September 30, 2020. Federal loan servicers are working to implement the 0% interest and will apply this change retroactively to March 13.  

Can I still make payments on my loans during this time?

Yes. If you choose to make payments to your loans between March 13 and September 30, 2020, your payment will first be applied to any interest accrued prior to March 13, then to principal. 

What happens to my regular auto-debit payments?

Auto-debit payments to federally-held loans will be automatically suspended during this administrative forbearance period.  

You can remain in administrative forbearance and make manual payments to your loan servicer, or if you wish to continue your auto-debit payments, you will need to contact your loan server to opt out of administrative forbearance and your auto-debit payments will resume.  

What happens if I made a payment after the CARES Act was enacted?

Any payment to a federally-held loan that was processed after March 13 can be refunded to you.  If you wish to receive a refund, you can contact your servicer to make that request.  

Can I still make payments on my federal loans?

Yes.  You can make payments in any amount to your federal loans during this administrative forbearance period.  If you are able to do so, making these payments could help you to pay off your loans sooner, as your payments will be applied to principal, once all interest accrued prior to March 13 is paid.

What if I’m pursuing PSLF?

As long as you continue to meet all other PSLF requirements* during the administrative forbearance period from March 13-September 20, you will not have to make payments to your federal student loans. During this automatic payment suspension for federal loans, your $0 payments will count as qualifying payments towards your PSLF progress.  

*PSLF requirements: You must have a Direct Loan, be on a qualifying repayment plan prior to March 13 and work full-time for a qualifying employer.

What if my loans are in default?

If you are trying to rehabilitate your loans, these suspended payments will count towards your rehabilitation.

Here are other resources you might want to check out:

Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents

What you need to know about student loans and the coronavirus pandemic

Nelnet: Important Coronavirus Information

Navient: Update on COVID-19 and your Student Loans 

Great Lakes: COVID-19 Update

FedLoan Servicing: COVID-19 Relief for Student Loan Borrowers 

SEE ALL ARTICLES

The CARES Act: What does it mean for employers and employees? 

Info for employers

Info for employees

In a nutshell: As an employer who offers Vault benefits, you can now contribute up to $5,250 tax-exempt dollars toward employees’ student debt balances. 

What changed for borrowers?

Can borrowers continue to make payments?

Yes. Vault advises that borrowers who are financially able to make student loan payments to continue to do so in order to take advantage of lack of interest accrual during this time period. 

What should I do?

The provision enables employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis. Under the provision, an employer may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income.* The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books) provided by the employer. As an employer, you may make one time or multiple payments . The provision applies to any student loan payments made by an employer on behalf of an employee after the date of enactment and before January 1, 2021.

*Note that if you offer multiple education related benefits, you will want to track the amounts contributed to employees. Any amount the exceeds the $5250 cap is subject to taxes. 

3/20/2020

Student loan payment rules are changing daily, and Vault is monitoring those changes.  

The Department of Education has announced that it will allow anyone with federal student loans to enter into administrative forbearance for at least 60 days. 

What is administrative forbearance?

If an individual elects to enter into administrative forbearance, for at least 60 days beginning on March 13, if they have a federal student loan they do not have to make payments on those loans, and interest will not accrue. Please note that this applies to federal loans only.  Private loans are not eligible for this forbearance.

What do employees with loans have to do?

If an individual has federal student loans and cannot make their payments, they must reach out to their servicer and let them know that they wish to enter administrative forbearance. If they were already more than 30 days behind in their payments, their servicer has been directed to place their loans in administrative forbearance, retroactive to March 13.

Can employees still make payments on their federal loans?

Yes. Payments an individual makes during this time will be applied to any outstanding interest that accrued before March 13, and the rest will go towards their principal. Borrowers may choose to continue to make payments to make faster progress toward paying down their loans.

What about employer contributions?

Employer contributions will continue to be sent to the loan servicer you have chosen.  Those contributions will be processed as usual by servicers, whether individuals elect to enter into administrative forbearance or not.  

If you would like more information on student loan news, the U.S. Department of Education has published details related to the suspension of student loan payments here.

Here are other resources you might want to check out:

Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents

What you need to know about student loans and the coronavirus pandemic

Nelnet: Important Coronavirus Information

Navient: Update on COVID-19 and your Student Loans 

Great Lakes: COVID-19 Update

FedLoan Servicing: COVID-19 Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

The CARES Act and Employee Student Loans

In a nutshell: As of March 27th, federal student loan servicers are suspending loan payments and setting interest rates to 0% for six months.

What is the CARES Act?

On March 27, 2020 Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, this law provides relief for federal student loan borrowers.  From March 13 to September 30, 2020 federal student loans will be placed in an automatic administrative forbearance (temporary suspension of payments) and a 0% interest period.

Which types of loans are affected by the CARES Act?

Federally-held student loans

Direct loans (defaulted and nondefaulted)

FFEL Program loans (defaulted and nondefaulted) not owned by commercial lenders, and

Federal Perkins loans not owned by the university you attended

Does this apply to private loans?

No.  Private loans are not subject to the provisions of the CARES Act. 

What is “administrative forbearance”?

Administrative forbearance is a temporary suspension of your payments to your federal loan servicer.

Do I have to apply to have my federal loan payments suspended?

No. Federal loans will be automatically suspended by federal loan servicers.

When does the 0% interest period begin?

The 0% interest period began on March 13, 2020 and runs through September 30, 2020. Federal loan servicers are working to implement the 0% interest and will apply this change retroactively to March 13.  

Can I still make payments on my loans during this time?

Yes. If you choose to make payments to your loans between March 13 and September 30, 2020, your payment will first be applied to any interest accrued prior to March 13, then to principal. 

What happens to my regular auto-debit payments?

Auto-debit payments to federally-held loans will be automatically suspended during this administrative forbearance period.  

You can remain in administrative forbearance and make manual payments to your loan servicer, or if you wish to continue your auto-debit payments, you will need to contact your loan server to opt out of administrative forbearance and your auto-debit payments will resume.  

What happens if I made a payment after the CARES Act was enacted?

Any payment to a federally-held loan that was processed after March 13 can be refunded to you.  If you wish to receive a refund, you can contact your servicer to make that request.  

Can I still make payments on my federal loans?

Yes.  You can make payments in any amount to your federal loans during this administrative forbearance period.  If you are able to do so, making these payments could help you to pay off your loans sooner, as your payments will be applied to principal, once all interest accrued prior to March 13 is paid.

What if I’m pursuing PSLF?

As long as you continue to meet all other PSLF requirements* during the administrative forbearance period from March 13-September 20, you will not have to make payments to your federal student loans. During this automatic payment suspension for federal loans, your $0 payments will count as qualifying payments towards your PSLF progress.  

*PSLF requirements: You must have a Direct Loan, be on a qualifying repayment plan prior to March 13 and work full-time for a qualifying employer.

What if my loans are in default?

If you are trying to rehabilitate your loans, these suspended payments will count towards your rehabilitation.

Here are other resources you might want to check out:

Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents

What you need to know about student loans and the coronavirus pandemic

Nelnet: Important Coronavirus Information

Navient: Update on COVID-19 and your Student Loans 

Great Lakes: COVID-19 Update

FedLoan Servicing: COVID-19 Relief for Student Loan Borrowers 

SEE ALL ARTICLES

The Essential Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness and the 2020 Election

Student Loan Debt is $1.6 trillion and growing. 

American families saddled with high-interest debt are unable to afford homes, unexpected healthcare costs, or retirement savings. The economy is shrinking, and one thing is clear: Erasing unforgiving student loan debt is one way to invigorate the economy and uplift the millions of citizens who are struggling to make ends meet.

That’s why the 2020 election is full of student loan forgiveness plans. No matter which strategy you are looking at, here are two primary questions to consider:

  1. Will student loan forgiveness work?
  2. Will student loan repayment benefits still be relevant if the government passes any of these plans?

The answers may surprise you.

A Glimpse At The Current State of Loan Forgiveness

On a good day, one could call the current loan forgiveness schemes ineffective. 

There are several programs already in place with the sole purpose of easing the student loan burden. But they are often inaccessible, and can make the loan worse.

The most popular program is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which requires graduates to volunteer or work in qualified government programs for ten years. However, the skills necessary usually mirror the other programs. In other words, they need teachers, medical professionals, and lawyers. 

And the application process isn’t simple. According to the United States accountability office, in April of 2019, only 55 out of 19,321 applicants were approved for loan forgiveness. That is less than 1%!

Income-based repayment programs can contribute to growing your student loan debt. This is because low payments on high debt can translate into paying off the interest instead of the principal. If your payments aren’t going towards the original loan, you may find your debt increasing instead of decreasing.

In other words, the loan forgiveness programs that exist are limited. 

How Much Debt Can Be Forgiven?

Three significant candidates have listed their student loan debt solutions in detail: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Julian Castro

All three plans hope to reduce federal student loan debt, which makes up 92% of student loans. While Sanders desires to remove all student loan debt, Warren and Castro offer income-based plans, targeting low-income borrowers. But there are more limitations as well:

  1. Private debt, which amounts to $119.31 billion, will not be forgiven
  2. Depending on the plan, not all federal student loans would be eligible for forgiveness 
  3. Graduate school and advanced degrees would likely still require significant investments from students

This is all assuming the democratic candidates can pass their bill without any changes. Even if we see a debt forgiveness bill, it’s uncertain whether it will include all or even most of the student loans.

What Happens If College Becomes “Tuition-Free”

Could universities ever become like their western European counterparts and go tuition-free? Yes and no.

While tuition-free education would likely solve the student loan crisis for most Americans, the proposed plans would only cover four-year public universities, trade schools, and community colleges. In other words, private education would still be able to set their price. Even if private education reduces the bill, it’s likely students will still require loans to stay in school, especially if they don’t qualify for financial aid. 

Furthermore, students seeking to be lawyers, doctors, or nurses will still have to foot a massive bill for post-undergraduate studies. These programs are unlikely to receive government support, and even with loan forgiveness, are likely to rack up an outstanding debt.

The Future of Student Loan Repayment Benefits

Regardless of who wins the 2020 election, one this is certain: Student loan repayment benefits will still be boosting employee retention.

Private loans and universities aren’t going away. And many students will continue their journey in higher ed to achieve MBAs or other higher degrees before returning to the workforce. 

There is only so much the federal branch can do to minimize the impact of student loans in the short term. Loan forgiveness is simply a start, but without systemic change, the student loan system is likely going to stick around.

Until we find long-term solutions towards a more affordable higher education, the rest of us have the opportunity to uplift our employees and help them grow.

Contact us below to learn more how about Vault’s student loan repayment platform can be integrated into your company’s benefits package.

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3 Examples of Smaller Cities Staying ‘Recruiting Relevant’ By Offering Student Loan Assistance

One of the biggest underlying trends in America today is the urban/rural divide. A lack of opportunities in smaller cities, towns and rural areas – coupled with a skyrocketing amount of student debt – drives new graduates and young professionals into big cities, with the lure of more jobs and higher incomes. That then leaves those smaller cities stuck in a ‘brain drain’ loop, of losing workers, which makes the areas look less attractive for job prospects, which prompts even more people to leave.

But those big cities have their challenges, too. Places like San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami and Washington, D.C., regularly rank among the most expensive metro areas in the country, where the costs of housing and living have become prohibitively expensive for those same grads and young professionals struggling to make ends meet – including paying off their loans. The median home value across the country is $225,300; in Miami it’s $304,300. Cities on that level regularly come with significantly higher price tags than the national average.

And therein lies the opportunity for employers in cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis or Indianapolis. Would-be employees being priced out of the biggest cities need student loan relief. Employers in comparatively smaller cities, ones with historically stagnant rates of population and job growth, can now lean on a benefit like student loan assistance to bring droves of debt-saddled workers back into town – and into their workforce.

Here are three places where we’re seeing this play out across the country right now.

St. Clair County, Michigan

The Come Home Award is a scholarship program aimed at former St. Clair County residents who have graduated with science, tech, engineering, art or math degrees but no longer reside in this Michigan area. As the name suggests, the scholarship fund offers up to $15,000 in student loan assistance for former residents as an incentive for them to come back home, and live and work in St. Clair County.

Hamilton, Ohio

Forty minutes outside of Cincinnati, the city of Hamilton, Ohio provides a Talent Attraction Program scholarship for graduates with student debt to live and work either in town or the surrounding county. The city offers up to $5,000 over a 25-month period to be put toward student loans, and costs of living that are considerably lower than the national average (Ohio’s median home value is $130,900, nearly a full $100,000 cheaper than it is nationally; the average two-bedroom apartment in the Buckeye State costs $300 below the national average). Hamilton is banking on a combination of student loan assistance and generally cheaper living to lure job applicants and new employees into town.

77 counties across Kansas

Dozens of counties – and private employers in those counties – across Kansas offer student loan repayment benefits for workers. To qualify, applicants need to be sponsored by either their employer or the county itself; that sponsor will fund half of their repayment, while the state picks up the other half. As of 2018, there were 58 employers across the state sponsoring their workers for student loan assistance, and in 2017 the state paid out over $2 million to fund residents’ student debt repayments. Over 2,000 Kansas-born residents have since returned to their home state because of this benefit, many of them working in education and healthcare. And of the 3,400 applications submitted for the program, over one-third were from people moving into Kansas from out of state, proving that the promise of student debt assistance can be a powerful recruiting tool for employers outside of the biggest metro areas.

Student loan repayment benefits don’t just provide debt relief for struggling graduates and young professionals; they’re also powerful recruiting tools in the hands of employers looking for a new competitive edge. If you’re an employer in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis or Detroit, contact Vault today to learn more about how our student loan assistance platform can add a new level to your HR strategies.  

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How Student Loan Repayment Can Transform HR

HR has a reputation that, unfairly, casts a shadow over all the good it does. One of the factors driving that rep is this long-held view of HR being a cost center: that it takes up more money and resources than it actually gives back to the company. And because of that, HR has often struggled to highlight the value it brings to the company.

After all, at the end of the day, HR is all about investing in people: recruiting, interviewing, training and educating and providing benefits that help with retaining the best employees. Good employees drive good business for the company, and you don’t get good employees without a sturdy HR department in place. That might seem like a no-brainer, but the fact is that some of this value is not always clear to the C-suite. Employee benefits, for instance, are typically seen as costs because, well, they are literally costs; and those black-and-white numbers can speak for themselves to a cost-conscious CFO.

It’s not enough to just believe that HR programs and initiatives actually provide value; that value has to be demonstrated clearly enough so that those who might look down at HR as a cost center are set straight. HR has to be able to show that what it does has a positive impact on not just employee productivity, but overall revenue growth and profit.

They also have to prove it to the employees and prospects that HR is pursuing. When you’re dealing with an extremely competitive job market, one that has employees – especially millennial-aged ones – looking for the exit door in the near future because they’ve got better offers lined up, a robust benefits package is absolutely key for HR to be able to prove value to both the workers and the higher-ups.

Sitting at the heart of that robust benefits package: student loan repayment.

From cost center to profit center

Health insurance and a 401(k) program are likely the first things that come to mind when asked about what benefits employers should, and do, provide. And fittingly, they’re also the top two most in-demand benefits from employees themselves. But #3 on that list? Student loan repayment.

It’s easy to see why a CFO’s first impression of offering student loan repayment as a benefit might draw eyerolls. After all, if HR wants to shake off its rep as a cost center, how does investing more money into a student loan program help?

But consider the big picture: over half of employees want a student loan repayment perk at their workplace, yet only 4 percent of companies actually offer it. Simple supply and demand applies here. When you’ve got that big a gulf between the number of workers who want and need student loan repayment help, and so few companies providing it, being one of the few who does provide it offers a massive competitive advantage.

And that’s how HR makes the jump from cost center to profit center. Because by integrating student loan repayment services into your benefits packages, HR can jump to the head of the pack in the marketplace, offering a lucrative perk for attracting new employees and retaining current ones alike. This in turn helps generate new revenue from those employees as well as cut down on the amount of spend needed for recruiting and retention efforts.

Redefine your reputation as a profit center by partnering with Vault. Our student loan repayment platform helps provide exactly the kind of workplace perk that employees are calling out for, offering a new way for HR to boost employee retention and recruiting, and drive new business value.

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How the Student Debt Crisis is Stifling the American Dream

Paying for college today means needing to take out an extreme amount of student loans, and the impact from the student loan debt crisis is not being felt equally.

Ever since the 1950s, the concept of the American Dream has been grounded in a few basic, but pretty universally understood ideas: get a well-paying job, buy a home and a car, start a family. If you go to school and work hard, the rest of these milestones will fall into place for you.

Maybe in 1958 that was already an overly rosy idea. In 2018, it’s practically laughable.

Today’s Americans – particularly Millennials and new college graduates – have entered an economy where not only is that American Dream not guaranteed in the slightest, but the deck is effectively stacked up against them. To succeed in today’s economy, you need a four-year college education just as a baseline requirement for so many job openings. But getting that degree means paying for college at a time when tuition is getting more expensive every year. Paying for college today means needing to take out an extreme amount of student loans.

How extreme? This year, the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. hit $1.5 trillion. That’s a daunting number in its own right; when you consider that it’s a 150 percent increase over just a decade ago, it becomes clear that student debt in this country has very quickly reached crisis levels.

Today, three-quarters of student debt holders said their loans have impacted their ability to buy a home. In that same survey, over 40 percent say their loans have influenced their decision to delay starting a family. These are some of the basic building blocks of what we think of as the American Dream, and for millions of people they are becoming increasingly out of reach because of the very education they pursued to help achieve that dream.

Worse still, the impact from the student debt crisis is not being felt equally.    

Although 60 percent of student debt holders took out federal loans, black students were overwhelmingly more likely – 78 percent – to need them. Compare that to white students, where just 58 percent – below the overall average and 20 points fewer than black student loan holders – needed to take out federal loans for college.

In an economy where black students are 44 percent more likely to take out student loans than their white peers, and being set up to graduate with more debt than white students, how can we say college is helping to level the playing field and give all students – regardless of race – an equal opportunity at their futures?

Statistics like these are all the more reason why employers today need to put a higher priority on incorporating student loan repayment services into their employee benefits packages.

Vault’s student loan repayment options can not only give employers a powerful new tool for recruiting and retaining employees, but also provide those employees with the debt defiant relief they need to get out from under the crush of student loans and reclaim their future.  

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New look. same genius. We have some big, exciting news to share, and you may have already noticed that something is different.

Student Loan Genius has changed its name to Vault. This isn’t a decision we made lightly or quickly; rather, this is the outcome of a six-month-long journey of in-depth research, strategy and planning, to land on a new identity that best fits who we are as a company.

Vault was born out of the desire to solve a very real and increasingly suffocating financial problem affecting an overwhelming majority of employees: student loan debt.

Debt is crushing today’s workforce. More than 44 million Americans collectively carry $1.5 trillion in student debt as of the first quarter of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. By 2027, 75 million Americans will have $3 trillion in student loan debt.

At the same time, employers are struggling to hire and retain the best talent in an increasingly competitive job market. They can offer health insurance, a retirement plan, and office perks, but what if there’s an opportunity to offer a stand out benefit that can make a real impact in solving one of the biggest financial challenges of our generation?

Enter Vault. We’re committed to helping employers work with their employees to tackle student loans through contribution programs, education and expert consulting. Our insights, technology and ambition combine to help employees get a jump start on their tomorrow, turning HR into debt-busting heroes whose work in rebalancing debt helps to gain and retain the best employees.

Today, major companies like New York Life, Ralph Lauren and Mastercard offer Vault to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace and offer an attractive employee benefit that improves hiring and retention. We also recently welcomed American Family Insurance into the fold as a new customer.

We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can be reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever. We get down into the trenches to ensure results that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. This attitude and drive is at the center of everything Vault does.

Our rebrand also comes on the heels of other exciting news for our company, including the launch of Vault Match, a new 401(k) product that can help employers allocate unused 401(k) dollars to student loan benefits. We also closed a $3.5 million Seed Series Prime financing round in May 2018 with Vestigo Ventures, and brought in Romy F. Parzick as our new Chief Operating Officer. It’s an exciting time to be at Vault!

Remember, the new name does not mean new priorities. Vault’s primary focus remains on helping organizations attract and retain top talent by providing their employees with essential benefits to ensure progress, security and financial freedom.

For more information, visit our FAQ page.

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Vault – frequently asked questions

Student Loan Genius to Vault – a few frequently asked questions.

Employees

Where do I go to log in to my account?

You’ll log in to your account at app.vault.co as usual with your existing login credentials.

Do I need to recreate my account?

No, your existing account will work. You’ll log in with your existing login credentials at app.vault.co.

Do I need to re-enter my student loan information?

No, all of your previously imported student loan information will remain on file.

Will this affect contributions from my company?

If you have access to Vault Pay and you have already added your student loan contribution information, your contributions will continue to be sent out.

Do I need to log in to my portal and update anything?

No, your account will not be changed. You’ll log in with your existing login credentials at app.vault.co.

What is the new customer service contact information?

You can now contact genius@vault.co if you need any support or help with your account.

What if I try to access the Student Loan Genius benefit?

The Student Loan Genius benefit URL (app.studentloangenius.com) will automatically redirect to Vault’s benefit URL (app.vault.co).

Have a question that isn’t answered here?

Please contact genius@vault.co

Why the name change?

Vault was born out of the desire to solve a very real and increasingly suffocating financial problem affecting an overwhelming majority of employees: student loan debt. We’re committed to helping employers work with their employees to tackle student loans through contribution programs, education and expert consulting. Our insights, technology and ambition combine to help employees get a jump start on their tomorrow, turning HR into debt-busting heroes whose work in rebalancing debt helps to gain and retain the best employees.

We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can be reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever. We get down into the trenches to ensure results that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. This attitude and drive is at the center of everything Vault does.

Employers

Has Vault been purchased or taken over by a new company?

Vault has not been purchased or taken over by a new company. We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever.

Do I need to make any changes on behalf of my employees using the benefit?

Vault will be providing your HR team with the new login link for your employees to access Vault’s products. The new benefit URL will be app.vault.co. If they attempt to access our platform with any prior link provided, they will be redirected to the new site.

How do my employees connect with your support team?

Employees can connect with our support team by emailing genius@vault.co

What if my employees email the old support address of genius@studentloangenius.com?

The email will be routed to our new support address of genius@vault.co

Have my company’s employees been notified?

Yes, all employees who have received invitations to or accessed the benefit before will receive an email and an in-product notification about the rebrand to Vault.

What happens if my employees try to access the Student Loan Genius benefit?

The Student Loan Genius benefit URL (app.studentloangenius.com) will automatically redirect to Vault’s benefit URL (app.vault.co).

Why the name change?

Vault was born out of the desire to solve a very real and increasingly suffocating financial problem affecting an overwhelming majority of employees: student loan debt. We’re committed to helping employers work with their employees to tackle student loans through contribution programs, education and expert consulting. Our insights, technology and ambition combine to help employees get a jump start on their tomorrow, turning HR into debt-busting heroes whose work in rebalancing debt helps to gain and retain the best employees.

We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can be reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever. We get down into the trenches to ensure results that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. This attitude and drive is at the center of everything Vault does.

Where can I find Vault collateral?

All clients and customers will receive new Vault collateral via email from our support team.

Is this a branding change or an official legal name change?

Our legal name remains Student Loan Benefits, Inc. We are now doing business as Vault.

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STUDENT LOAN GENIUS NAMES SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Vault (formerly known as Student Loan Genius), an employee benefits platform that positions companies to recruit and retain top talent by enabling them to repay employee student loan debt, announced today the appointment of Romy F. Parzick as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“Parzick’s expertise combined with her track record for driving social change and leveraging top talent for high-impact results makes her a key addition to the Student Loan Genius leadership team,” said Matt Beecher, Chief Executive Officer of Student Loan Genius. “We are confident her background in payments, financial services, and customer experience will make her an invaluable partner to organizations within the Student Loan Genius portfolio.”

According to the Federal Reserve, more than 44 million Americans collectively carry $1.5 trillion in student debt as of the first quarter of 2018, and that number is expected to rise to 75 million employees and $3 trillion by 2027. Today major companies like New York Life, Ralph Lauren and Mastercard offer Student Loan Genius to differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. Effective immediately, Parzick will assume responsibility for operational excellence across Student Loan Genius with a focus on scaling backbone operations including client relationships, customer success, new customer implementation, and end-user adoption.

“I’m excited and motivated to help lead a company with such a galvanizing mission,” said Parzick. “As educational debt continues to mushroom, employees often have to delay important investments like retirement contributions, which in turn creates greater social issues in our economy. Our platform enables our partners to attract and retain a top-notch workforce by improving the financial health of their employees.”

Prior to her appointment, Parzick led operations and client experience for the commercial division of NetSpend, a leading prepaid card provider serving consumers who do not have access to traditional bank accounts. Previous experience also includes her thought-leadership, research, and consumer advocate initiatives at the Center for Financial Services Innovation and her role as as Executive Vice President of a leading Community Development Financial Institution. Parzick holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a bachelor of science in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, she is a Fellow with the Aspen Institute’s First Movers, a program for accomplished innovators who are creating new products and services that fuse business success with positive social and environmental impacts.

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Why your employees aren’t using your 401(k)

RYAN GARDNER  |  JULY 5, 2018

EMPLOYER INSIGHTS

A 401(k) is a great way to build a retirement fund, especially if your company is willing to match the employee’s input. This should mean most if not all employees should take advantage of it and use it right?

Some employees, especially those that are recent graduates, may not use it due to large outstanding student loans. In fact, this is the case for many employees.

THE BURDEN OF STUDENT DEBT

Student loan repayment plans are as important to recent graduates as access to a 401(k) plan. This makes sense because as many as 70 percent of graduates have some amount of student debt. With astronomically high numbers like these, it’s no wonder that some employees find it hard to adequately add to their retirement funds while making loan payments.

Additionally, some states have harsh punishments for unpaid student loans. Defaulting on payments can lead to serious drops in credit scores and it can even limit job opportunities and careers.

CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS AND SOLUTIONS

Helping employees pay off their student debts with student loan repayment plans is a great way to help recent graduates pay off their debts and allow them to invest more money into their 401(k) account. Moreover, this type of program increases employee recruitment, retention, and loyalty.

Since 401(k) plans are a way for companies to help workers prepare for their retirement, student loan repayment plans can be treated similarly. In fact, the idea that student loan repayment could one day be as important as a 401(k) plan isn’t that far-fetched. This line of thought has been adopted by many companies and is growing in popularity. The majority of job seekers under the age of 30 are even more likely to accept a job that offers student loan repayment plans.

As the national student loan debt continues to grow past $1.4 trillion, there could conceivably be a day where a student loan repayment plan is valued as highly as a 401(k) retirement plan. This is exactly why we want to form a partnership with your company that helps you and your employees by providing you the guidance and tools you need with this benefit. If you are looking for a way to implement a student loan repayment plan in your company or want more information, get in touch.

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