UAB to help employees simplify student loans and save money

Written by 

Student debtUAB is going to help faculty and staff tackle student loan debt through its partnership with a financial technology firm, CommonBond, which will give you a cash bonus to participate.

CommonBond pays off existing student loans — including federal, private, Parent PLUS and previously consolidated student loans — and replaces them with one combined loan at a lower interest rate and one lower monthly payment that saves money over the life of the loan.

The debt-refinancing program, one of several new voluntary benefits rolled out this year, is being offered through UAB Benefits and the UAB Financial Wellness Program, a new program that provides resources to help employees cope with financial stressors, build financial skills and feel confident about their future.

“During the past 10 years, average student loan debt has increased by more than 50 percent, and it is hitting every generation,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Alesia Jones. “With more than 23,000 faculty and staff at UAB, the challenges of our broader community mirror those of our workforce."

Student loan debt — totaling nearly $380 billion — comprises the single largest category of U.S. consumer debt among adults ages 18-29, Bloomberg reported this week. Among adults 30-49, student loan debt — exceeding $776 billion — is surpassed only by mortgage debt.

“The stress of student loan debt can be a constant distraction and a barrier to financial security for our new hires and the parents of recent graduates," Jones said. "We strive to offer a broad array of benefits that meet the needs of our faculty and staff throughout the employment life cycle. This is a benefit we can facilitate that costs the university nothing, and it can reduce financial stress on employees and help them save more for retirement and other life needs.”

How does this work?

The debt-refinancing program, one of several new voluntary benefits rolled out this year, is being offered through UAB Benefits and the UAB Financial Wellness Program to benefit-eligible employees.

This benefit is available to UAB benefits-eligible employees with a bachelor’s degree or higher from a Title IV school and a credit score of at least 660, or a co-signor who meets this requirement. More information on CommonBond also is available in the UAB for Me Benefits Portal at; select Student Loan Assistance.

According to CommonBond, which is offering a $200 cash bonus to employees who refinance with them, its average user saves $24,000 after refinancing.

CommonBond participants are not eligible for income-driven repayment or public service loan forgiveness. Payments can be deferred if participants return to school or lose their job. Information on the public service loan-forgiveness program at UAB can be found at under Student Loan Assistance.