Illinois Contractor Helping Employees Repay Student Loans

Clayco's new program is designed to help current employees pay down their debts faster to reduce the long-term burden of the loans...

Illinois Contractor Helping Employees Repay Student Loans

When Clayco Executive Chairman and founder Bob Clark asked his employees about their biggest personal challenges, a resounding number said, “crushing student debt.”

The burdensome debt was impacting employees’ credit, ability to get ahead and focus on work.

To help mitigate the issue, the Illinois-based real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm has launched a Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program. The new program is designed to help current employees pay down their debts faster to reduce the long-term burden of the loans. More details about the program will be released in the coming months, Clark told Equipment World.

The company’s comprehensive compensation and benefits package also includes competitive pay and a bonus program, medical,  dental and vision insurance, a 401k with company match and educational assistance. 

“By actively listening to what is holding some of our team members back from reaching their goals, we uncovered this silent killer to folks getting ahead. Often, predatory student lending and overly costly tuition have become a debilitating cliff to climb,” Clark said.

“That's why we have announced that we will be implementing a Student Loan Repayment Assistance Plan and continue to shine a light on the subject to help future generations avoid getting caught in this trap. This assistance plan is not just about financial aid – it’s about providing peace of mind and the freedom to focus on the future without the looming worry of student debt.”

Clayco President Bob Clark addressing studentsClaycoBeyond financial assistance, Clark said Clayco leadership would continue to engage with policymakers about predatory student loan practices and the strain it puts on families.

According to a report from CNBC, the Biden Administration is moving forward with its attempt to forgive student debt for federal borrowers after the Supreme Court struck down the initial plan to forgive up to $20,000 of student debt per borrower in June.

Under the new draft regulation proposal, four groups would be eligible for forgiveness:

  1. Borrowers whose balances are greater than what they owed upon entering repayment.
  2. Borrowers whose loans first entered repayment many years ago.
  3. Borrowers who are eligible for forgiveness under income-driven repayment plans or discharge opportunities such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness but have not yet applied for such relief.
  4. Borrowers who attended programs or institutions that failed to deliver sufficient financial value.

Approximately 45.3 million borrowers have student loan debt, according to the Education Data Initiative. Of those borrowers, 92% have federal loan debt, with the average amount owed totaling $37,338.

“Clayco is committed to supporting the well-being of our team members, and we are confident that this initiative will bring about a positive change. I would like to give special thanks to Clayco’s Chief Talent Officer, Katie Lane; Chief Financial Officer, Justin Lienemann; the Interior Designer at our partner company, Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Taylor Spinks; and our shareholders for working through this creative solution,” added Clark.