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线上借贷再现新商机:学生贷款与员工津贴相结合

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

线上借贷再现新商机:学生贷款与员工津贴相结合

The Emergence of Employee Benefit Programs in Online Lending

毫无疑问,学生贷款市场很大,一些线上贷款公司通过学生贷款再融资,成功降低了借款人的利率。还有一些公司(如Credible),则给借款人一系列来自不同机构的不同贷款选择,让借款人了解自己可以选择什么样的学生贷款再融资或私人学生贷款。近日,Credible公司宣布与学生贷款市场协会(Sallie Mae)合作,使借款人可以从Credible公司的平台中取出贷款。学生贷款市场协会是美国最大的私人学生贷款机构,这次合作对Credible公司来说是一次巨大的成功。

但是对线上借贷机构来说,员工津贴是个全新的市场品类,但同时也蕴藏着巨大的商机,如今也已经有越来越多的线上借贷机构对这一领域表现出了兴趣。

要把学生贷款与员工津贴结合起来,前提是公司要采取以下行动:

· 对员工进行教育培训,使其了解学生贷款

· 与平台合作,提供学生贷款再融资

· 与平台合作,提供学生贷款再融资,并为员工贷款提供明确的款项

进入劳动力市场的毕业生,很多都身负学生贷款,公司就偿还贷款提供帮助,对有潜在员工来说,是很有吸引力的。目前,公司就偿还学生贷款提供帮助还是一项很有竞争力的优势,但对大公司来说,这种帮助可能最终会成为常态。

我们联系到了Credible公司的创始人兼首席执行官Stephen Dash,询问他对这项新趋势的看法:

“为员工提供学生贷款还贷津贴越来越流行,这表明公司认识到很多年轻员工都有学生贷款的负担,而提供还款津贴可以帮助公司招到最有前途的员工。公司帮助员工偿还学生贷款时,可以以较低的利率对他们的贷款进行再融资,这往往让公司从这项津贴中受益更多。Credible公司与Peanut Butter公司合作,促使众多公司在提供还贷津贴的同时,还为员提供一个平台,使员工可以从多个通过审查的、服务于众多借款人的贷款机构得到个性化的利率,这是他们无法从单个贷款机构得到的。”

近期还有两家更大的公司宣布了自己的计划。2016年7月,我们特别报道了学生贷款机构CommonBond成功融资3亿多美元,同时CommonBond还宣布收购了Gradible公司。Gradible是一个私人金融平台,帮助学生管理自己的学生贷款,同时也使公司能够对员工还款提供帮助。到目前为止,CommonBond已经与近百家公司签订了协议,将其纳入公司合作项目之中。

另一家公司SoFi也在拓展员工津贴这个市场,这并不出人意料。SoFi公司开创了学生贷款再融资行业,而后抵押担保、个人贷款、人身保险、资产管理等领域,现在则进军员工津贴领域。SoFi公司的新项目名为SoFi at Work,这个项目的目标是一样的,即为公司提供服务,让公司能够帮助员工管理好自己的学生贷款。该项目目前提供两项津贴:

学生贷款定期缴款津贴:在SoFi公司的管理下,公司直接为员工已有的联邦学生贷款或私人学生贷款定期缴款,减少贷款余额,节省利息开支。

学生贷款再融资津贴:无需成本,公司可让员工加入SoFi公司的学生贷款再融资项目,帮助员工存钱,更快地还清贷款,还提供奖励如教育资源以及信任额外津贴。

到目前为止,全美国已经有超过600家公司签订了合作合约。据媒体报道,财富500强公司中,七成科技公司都参与了这个项目。SoFi公司的联合创始人、CEO、主席Mike Cagney称:

“谈及员工津贴,我们相信学生贷款还款援助是下一个401(k)(企业年金)计划。对千禧一代来说尤其是这样。千禧一代占据了目前劳动力市场的最大百分比,他们身负创纪录的高学生贷款进入职场,并推迟了退休储蓄、购买首套房子等重大计划。”

· 总结

报道CommonBond的新闻时,Willis Towers Watson公司的一项研究发现,有4%的公司向员工提供学生贷款还款援助项目,该研究预计到2018年,这一笔记将上升到26%。员工津贴市场是一个完全未被开发的市场,直到近期SoFi、CommonBond进入,这个市场有着巨大的增长潜力。尽管解决学生贷款是非常明显的选择,但将来这个市场还可能扩展到个人贷款或其他领域。从贷款公司的角度来看,把公司纳入其混合服务体系中,带来了许多独特的机遇,如贷款担保的可能、公司提供的津贴、以及关于就业的数据,等等。员工津贴领域很有发展前景,我们将密切关注这个领域。

There is no question that student lending is a massive market and several companies in the online lending industry have been extremely successful at lowering the rates of borrowers through student loan refinancing. There are also companies like Credible who seek to educate borrowers on what student loan refinancing and private student loan options are available by presenting a variety of different loan options from different originators. Today, Credible announced that they are adding another originator to the mix with Sallie Mae, which will enable borrowers to take out loans through Credible's platform. Bringing on the nation's largest private student lender is a huge win for Credible.

But there is another opportunity for the originators themselves which is the employee benefits space and there are an increasing number of online lenders showing interest in the space.

The premise of combining student lending with employee benefits typically falls into the below categories of increasing involvement by the employer:

· Providing educational support to employees with student loans.

· Partnering with a platform to offer student loan refinancing.

· Partnering with a platform to offer student loan refinancing and offering a defined contribution to the employee's loan.

As graduates enter the workforce with high levels of student debt, offering assistance to help pay off loans is very attractive from a prospective employee's perspective. At this point, offering student loan assistance is a competitive advantage but it eventually could be the norm for larger employers.

We reached out to Stephen Dash, Founder and CEO of Credible to get his take on this new trend:

" growing popularity of employer student loan repayment benefits shows that employers recognize the burden student debt has on many young professionals, and that offering this benefit can give them an advantage in recruiting top prospects. When employers offer to help workers pay down their student loan debt, they can often get even more value from this benefit by refinancing their loans at a lower interest rate. Credible has partnered with Peanut Butter to empower companies to not only offer repayment assistance, but provide a platform for employees to get personalized rates on refinancing loans from multiple, vetted lenders who serve a broad range of borrowers - something they won't see if they apply to a single lender."

But there are two bigger names who have recently announced their plans. Back in July, 2016 we featured student lender CommonBond's total raise of over $300 million, but within that same announcement they shared that they had acquired a company called Gradible. Gradible is a personal finance platform which helps students manage their student debt and also enables employers to help with employees' student loan repayment. So far CommonBond has had nearly 100 companies sign on to their employer partnership program.

It isn't surprising that the other company pursuing this market is SoFi, who created the student loan refinancing industry and have since moved into mortgages, personal loans, life insurance, wealth management and now the employer benefits space. Their new program is called SoFi at Work and the goal is the same: to provide a service to employers to help their employees manage student debt. The two benefits currently offered are:

Student Loan Contribution Benefit: Administered by SoFi, companies make regular contributions directly to their employees' existing federal or private student loans, reducing loan balances and saving interest expense.

Student Loan Refinancing Benefit: At no cost, companies make SoFi Student Loan Refinancing available to employees to help them save money and pay down their loans faster, with incentives like educational resources and a welcome bonus.

So far they have signed on over 600 companies across the United States. According to the press release 7 out of the 10 top tech firms in the Fortune 500 are participating. Mike Cagney, CEO, Chairman & Co-Founder at SoFi stated:

"When it comes to employee benefits, we believe student loan help is the next 401(k). This is especially true for the Millennial generation, now the largest percentage of the workforce, who are starting their careers with record-setting student loan debt and deferring important priorities like retirement savings or buying their first home."

· Conclusion

At the time we heard about the CommonBond news, a study by Willis Towers Watson found that 4% of companies offered a student loans assistance program for their employees, a number they estimate to increase to 26% 2018. This market was completely untapped before companies like SoFi and CommonBond entered and it is one that has enormous potential for growth. Although tackling student loans is the obvious choice, it has the potential to expand to personal loans or maybe other categories as well. From a lender's perspective, adding the element of the employer into the mix brings a lot of unique opportunities such as the possibility of loan guarantees, subsidies offered by the employer and data around employment to name a few. It will certainly be interesting to see how the employer benefits space develops over the coming years and it is an area we will be keeping an eye on.

GELP

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