Available Student Loan Repayment Benefits
Federal agencies are allowed to establish programs for repayment of various types of student loans in order to recruit or retain highly-qualified agency employees. A federal agency can make payments to a loan holder of up to $10,000 for an employee in a calendar year. There is an aggregate maximum of $60,000 for any single employee.
To receive this benefit, an employee must sign an agreement to remain employed by the agency making the payment for at least 3 years. If the employee leaves the agency voluntarily or is separated involuntarily for misconduct, unacceptable performance, or a negative suitability determination before fulfilling the service agreement, the student loan repayment benefits that were received have to be repaid.
According to a report from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), agencies are using this legal authority to benefit
About $75 Million in Benefits in One Year
More than 80% of the overall cost of these repayment benefits was provided by seven agencies (ranked by number of employees approved for participation):
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Health and Human Services
- Veterans Affairs, and
- Housing and Urban Development.
These agencies paid 79.5 percent of all student loan repayment recipients to federal employees. These agencies paid 8,118 employees with $60.9 million in student loan repayment benefits. The remaining 27 agencies reporting to OPM provided 2,088 employees with $14 million in student loan repayments.