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Adidas North America Offers Student Loan Relief to Full-time Employees

The average consumer with student loan debt tends to be an impulsive spender, according to a recent UBS report.

Adidas North America is offering full-time employees with student loans up to $100 a month.PHOTO COURTESY ADIDAS

While the debt ceiling deal brought a sigh of relief for many politicians and voters, the end of the suspension of student loan repayments was not welcome news for many of the roughly 43.5 million Americans with them.

To try to lighten the financial load for some of its employees, Adidas Norh America is offering $100 a month through its student loan support program. To be eligible for what could max out at $1,200 a year, full-time employees, who work at least 30 hours a week, can enroll in the program after one year of employment. Adidas America executives estimate that the contribution rate can help reduce the length of payments for student borrowers by nearly five years.

Adidas America said Tuesday that 80 percent of the brand’s employees had indicated that student debt causes significant stress. The company routinely relies on employees’ feedback to evaluate, and in some cases adjust, its benefits program. The sneaker giant estimated that it is among the 7 percent of employers that are offering student loan support to employees. Google, Estée Lauder, MassMutual, Aetna, Nvidia Corp., Staples and SoFi are among the corporations that offer student loan repayment programs to employees. The average person with a student loan in the U.S. owes $37,787.

One of the tradeoffs in this week’s bipartisan debt ceiling deal between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was that student loan payments will start up again in September. Adidas brass may have an added incentive for supporting staffers with student loans. The company’s monetary relief will impact employees’ discretionary spending. This fall’s financial reckoning for those with student loans is expected to impact the fashion industry, by tightening the spending of key trend-conscious and sometimes more indulgent young consumers. During their reprieve from student loans in the past three and a half years, they were able to shop on apparel and other items more freely.

A recent UBS report that surveyed 8,500 adults including nearly 1,400 with student debt, determined that the average student loan borrower in that pool was 37 years old, earns $65,400 and tend to be impulsive spenders, who carry more credit card debt than the average adult.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America, said, “This is an exciting new program for our people who said that student loan support would significantly help them. Paying for education should not hold our teammates back so we are happy to support them with this benefit.”

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