Vanguard recognizes that crew who have recently graduated face higher student loan debt than ever before. Vanguard's Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program assists eligible crew with repayment of qualifying student loans, providing a head start toward financial well-being.
How the program works
The Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides eligible crew members up to a $100 monthly taxable benefit* paid directly to the crew member's student loan servicer. This payment should serve as a principal payment and not replace a monthly loan repayment obligation. There is a lifetime benefit cap of $7,200 per eligible crew member.
*Please note: Benefit payments will reflect on the regular payslip as two separate lines: under Hours and Earnings as Student Loan Repayment Benefit (e.g., $100), and a separate line under After-Tax Deductions reflecting Student Loan Offset adjustment (e.g., $100). Information will reflect as wages on the Form W-2.
Eligible crew can concurrently participate in Vanguard's Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program and Academic Assistance Plan. There is an annual Vanguard contribution limit of $9,000 between academic assistance and student loan repayment assistance (e.g., if a crew member uses $1,200 for student loan repayment in a calendar year, they would have $7,800 remaining for Academic Assistance). Both programs are administered by EdAssist, an industry leader in strategic, managed-education solutions.
Eligible crew will use the EdAssist website to manage their benefit by adding loans or education programs and requesting payment(s). After the requested payment has been made, it will be taxed at the crew member's current tax rate and viewable on their paycheck.
Crew member eligibility
Crew are eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program if they:
- Are an active full-time crew member (scheduled to work 37.5 or more hours per week).
- Have graduated from an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program within the last five years from the date first applied for the benefit.
New crew members meeting the criteria above are eligible immediately upon hire.
In order to be eligible for this benefit, the loan must be:
- A qualified United States-based education loan.
- Borrowed by the crew member as the crew member's own student loan.
- Used for a crew member's education.
- In an active status.
Eligible loan types include:
- Federal Perkins loans.
- Private student loans.
- Subsidized Stafford loans (FFELP/Direct).
- Unsubsidized Stafford loans (FFELP/Direct).
- Health professional loans.
- Grad PLUS loans (FFELP/Direct).
- Student consolidation loans.
- Student refinance loans.
- State loans.
Loans taken for post-baccalaureate programs, professional designation programs, regulatory licensing, or job-related certificate programs are not eligible.
How to access the program
Crew can log on to the EdAssist Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program website to manage the benefit. Begin the application by adding loan(s), education program details, requesting payment(s), and uploading proof of loan and graduation documentation. Once the loan document is uploaded, the crew member will be able to set up recurring payments. Refer to the EdAssist website for additional information.
Proof of loan documentation can be obtained from the loan servicer directly and must include:
- Crew member name.
- Loan servicer name.
- Loan account number, "other" or sub-loan account number if applicable.
- Loan balance due.
- Required monthly payment amount.
- Required payment due date.
For any Federal Direct loan servicers, choose U.S. Department of Education from the loan servicer dropdown menu.
Important note: Please confirm the correct payment address via the loan servicer portal or loan billing statement. Although not required on the proof of loan documentation, failing to provide the correct mailing address could result in a delay in payment to the loan servicer(s). Please note that a general correspondence address or servicer location may not be the same as the correct payment address.
Crew members can obtain proof-of-graduation documentation from the college or university from which they graduated. The following are examples of acceptable documentation:
- Copy of transcript.
- Copy of diploma.
- Graduation certificate.
For assistance with submitting applications, contact the EdAssist contact center from 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Eastern time, at 855-729-5960 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The EdAssist website also provides an online tutorial on how to navigate the site and submit an application.
If a crew member resigns or is discharged by Vanguard before the monthly loan repayment has been made to the loan servicer, they will not be eligible for that repayment or any future monthly loan repayments under the Repayment Program. In addition, crew members must repay to Vanguard 100% of any amounts paid by Vanguard to the student loan servicer during the 12 months prior to the crew member’s termination date.
EdAssist offers free, one-on-one sessions to crew members (about 30–45 minutes) with experts to discuss managing their own student loans. Crew can take advantage of this service even if they are not eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
- Counselors can help with topics like avoiding or rehabilitating defaulted loans, simplifying loan repayments, reducing monthly payments, evaluating repayment and refinancing plans, and developing and maintaining a repayment strategy.
- Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Eastern time, by calling 855-729-5960 or on the EdAssist Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program website.