This US city helps workers pay off student loans

The City of Memphis has rolled out a new employee benefit program aimed at attracting and retaining top-notch workers. Memphis is the first city in the U.S. to offer a student loan reduction program.

Beginning July 1, Memphis will contribute $50 a month to eligible workers' student loan principal payments, the Memphis Business Journal reports.

Alex Smith, the chief human resources officer for the City of Memphis, told the Business Journal the student loan assistance program is a win-win for the city and its workers.

"As we look to hire more police, firefighters and paramedics, that's typically a younger workforce. We know student loan debt is a major concern for them, so we see this as being an attractive and competitive benefit for that audience."

To qualify for the program, you need to be employed by the city for a year, Money reports. The perk applies to federal and private loans, and you do not need to have earned a degree.

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The average 2016 college student graduated with a hefty $37,172 in student loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero. That's a hefty load to carry.

To make matters worse, interest rates for federal student loans are about to go up. Beginning July 1, rates for newly issued federal loans are getting a bump of 0.69 of a percentage point.

Do you need help tackling your student loan debt? There are ways to reduce your student loan payments — or even wipe out your debt entirely — if you know where to look. Check out "How to Get Free Help With Your Student Loans" for more information.

What do you think of employers offering student loan repayment as a worker benefit? Sound off below or on Facebook.

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