There have been few conversations more prescient than that surrounding student debt forgiveness. As student loans continue to grow by leaps and bounds, students continue to fall further and further behind with their financial burdens.
As the former CEO of Natixis, John Hailer paid special attention to the impact that student debt was having on his workforce. To respond to a situation he saw as a growing threat to his business and the industry at large, John Hailer decided to take a swing at correcting the issue through a targeted student debt relief program.
Before we delve into the student debt relief program pioneered by the former exec at Natixis, John Hailer, let’s get a better understanding of the scope of the issue and how it is presenting itself.
Manifesting Major Concerns Through Student Debt
In a 2022 Bankrate Student Loan Survey, results showed that nearly 20% of all Millennial and Gen Z respondents reported that their marriage, home ownership, and child-raising plans were all postponed due to overbearing debt from student loans. This was a fact that was not lost on the former business leader at Natixis, John Hailer.
Understanding the impact of student loans and debts on his employees and their families, John Hailer knew that he wanted to act.
Hailer said, “This was a shocking finding for us. It meant 1/4 of our working population was saving nothing for retirement because of the excessive debt burden of student loans.”
John Hailer went on to note, “The long-term policy implications, for all of us, are even more alarming. We know those early years are critical.”
Hailer went on to underscore the importance of saving for retirement before the age of 40, creating enough cushion to last throughout the rest of your retirement years. Hailer noted that the reason many people were falling behind fell simply at the feet of student loans – and he wanted to make a difference.
Introducing Student Debt Relief at the Corporate Level
To better address what he saw as a rapidly expanding issue, John Hailer decided to introduce the Natixis Student Loan Repayment Benefit on January 1, 2016. The benefit was introduced to forgive up to $10,000 in total student loans for employees who were operating at a full-time capacity with at least five years of experience in the company.
The Natixis student loan forgiveness process would end up gaining ground and gathering steam throughout much of the industry, leading to widespread adoption by the competitors of Natixis. Now, almost a decade later, student loan forgiveness continues to reign paramount, above all in the conversation regarding future equity for professionals in the workforce.