Research Paper

Helping Employees Manage Debt

A recent study of full-time workers reveals a high need for debt-related benefits, as well as gaps between those who need these benefits most and those who currently have access to them.

Friday, January 28, 2022
 Helping Employees Manage Debt


Though workplace financial health benefits at many companies have expanded beyond retirement and health insurance, solutions for employees dealing with credit card, medical, or personal loan debt are still uncommon. To shed light on how these kinds of unsecured debt can impact employee well-being and work performance, the Financial Health Network conducted a study of full-time employees working at mid- to large-sized companies – nearly two-thirds (63%) reported unsecured debt. A survey of these 1,058 unsecured debt holders revealed impacts from debt stress at work, lack of access to debt-related benefits, and strong desire for employers to offer better financial tools and support. This brief aims to help employers better understand worker needs, so they can provide debt-related benefits that support a financially healthy and productive workforce.

Top Takeaways

The survey of full-time employees with unsecured debt asked about the impacts of debt on their lives, as well as their access to and attitudes towards various debt-related benefits.

Employee Debt Impacts Well-Being and Job Performance

Though all respondents to our survey worked full-time, many struggled with their finances, and used work time to manage their debt load.

Employees With High Debt Stress Need More Support and Resources

Employees with higher levels of debt stress – particularly those with higher total debt, lower incomes, and women – are less likely to have access to debt-related benefits that can help them.

Employees Are Eager For Debt-related Benefits and Solutions

Employers can increase employee satisfaction and retention by offering useful resources like financial coaching, debt consolidation, emergency grant funds, student loan support, and more.

Data Spotlight

Despite working full time at mid- to large-size companies, many of the employees with unsecured debt in our survey struggled with their finances, and lacked access to debt-related benefits. Of the 1,058 unsecured debt holders we surveyed…

62% of respondents would be more likely to stay at a job that offered useful debt-related benefits.

Our Partners

This report was developed with financial support from Freedom Financial Network. The insights and opinions expressed in this report are those of the Financial Health Network and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of our funders and supporters.

Written by

  • Amelia Josephson
    Senior Manager, Innovation
    Financial Health Network
  • Beth Brockland
    Vice President, Workplace Solutions
    Financial Health Network
  • Megan Skaggs
    Megan Skaggs
    Associate, Innovation

Helping Employees Manage Debt

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