Adidas is offering to help its U.S. employees pay down their student loans.
On Tuesday, the global shoe and apparel retailer announced that full-time employees who work at least 30 hours a week qualify for a $100 per month – or $1,200 per year – stipend through the company’s new Student Loan Support Program.
The initiative is available to employees who work in any area of Adidas’ business, including retail, distribution centers and corporate. Employees may apply for assistance after one year of employment.
“This is an exciting new program for our people who said that student loan support would significantly help them,” Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America, said in an announcement. “Paying for education should not hold our teammates back so we are happy to support them with this benefit.”
Adidas employs 10,000 people in the U.S. and it reported about 59,000 employees globally at the end of 2022. According to the company, the $1,200 annual stipend could reduce the length of education loan payments by almost five years.
The student loan assistance initiative places Adidas among 7% of employers that offer student loan support, the company said.
Eighty percent of Adidas’ employees said student debt causes them “significant stress.” In response, the company said it has also introduced a financial wellness program for U.S. employees. It will offer free financial coaching, guidance, and live seminars and webinars.
Nationwide, student loan debt totaled nearly $1.76 trillion in April, according to the Education Data Initiative. Nearly 44 million people have federal student loan debt, with an average individual balance of $37,338. The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the Biden administration’s move to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for individuals. The matter is before the court in response to challenges from six Republican-led states over the president’s legal authority to cancel education-related debts.