What If Employers Helped With Consumer Debt?

“You’ve done a great job this year.  Your performance is above expectations.  You’ve achieved all of your goals and have advanced your career path.  We see more growth for you in the future.  We want to recognize your accomplishments and feel that a fair representation would be….”

You lean in on the edge of your seat waiting for the next sentence.  5%?  10%?  How much more will you be making.

“no salary increase.”

Huh?  Bummer.  Well, there must be a fat bonus coming?

“Also, as you know, it is our policy not to pay one time bonuses.”

Now you’re really getting angry.  How could loyalty and performance be rewarded with another goose egg?

“This year, we’re going to do something different.  We’re going to apply $5,000 toward outstanding debt and we will arrange to pay the lender directly.”

Hmmm….let me think about this.

What would your thoughts be in such an arrangement?  What if companies started actively taking part in reducing consumer debt?

Consumer debt was defined as one of the crippling reasons for the recession, and though it’s gone down, the current levels are still one of the first things people discuss when talking about why the current economic recovery is so slow.

Logistics aside (I’m sure companies wouldn’t want to be writing separate checks to many different lenders, but let’s pretend for a minute that this isn’t an issue), I wonder what this would do.  Would employees be happy with this?  What percentage would resist the temptation to go out and add the debt back with a new purchase?

Would this really help the economy?

What do you think of this idea?  Would there be any company in the world that would bother with such an endeavor?  What would the pitfalls be?