The federal student loan repayment benefit has been available since 2002, but as attractive as it sounds, it’s not a widespread perk. Agencies have the authority to grant up to $10,000 a year for a total of $60,000 in student loan repayments in return for a promise of three years of service from workers. The money can go to new recruits or current employees.
Republicans in Congress, however, want to get rid of the benefit altogether. But many agencies currently aren’t using it anyway because they lack money to offer it, or are encountering resistance to the service requirements. Still, 35 agencies provided the benefit in 2012 at an overall cost of $70.3 million, less total money than in 2011 and 2010. The average individual payout that year was $6,670 -- $421 less than in 2011.
The Office of Personnel Management oversees the program, but individual agencies process the paperwork and the payments. Have you received money from the government to repay your student loans? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience obtaining the benefit. Please email Kellie Lunney at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, stories and feedback only if you applied for and received loan reimbursement money from the government.