Are low-cost loans the next Google employee perk?

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Google is famous for its employee perks. Could low-interest loans be next? reported Lending Club has pitched its peer-to-peer lending marketplace to Google. The proposal is for the company to use some if its cash holdings to make low-interest loans to employees.

Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche said his company is not currently working with Google on such an initiative, but would not confirm or deny that talks have taken place.

The program we’re putting in place gives the ability for large companies with lots of employees to make loans to their employees and use their treasury reserves, on which they are earning like one or two percent, and put them to work, he said in a recent interview. At the same time, they would be offering a lower interest rate to their employees than what they’re paying on their credit cards or other loans they have. It’s really an HR benefit and recruiting tool.

If low-cost loans don’t interest you, how about a free ferry ride to work? Google workers commuting from San Francisco to the company’s Silicon Valley campus can now make part of the trek on an 83-foot, Wi-Fi-equipped catamaran.

The search engine company has launched a free ferry service from San Francisco’s ferry terminal to the Port of Redwood City about 26 miles away, where employees can then hop on a private bus to work.

“They’re going to see if this is something their employees want, and if it makes economic and logistical sense,” said Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco, which operates the terminal used by the Google ferry and other charter services, told the San Jose Mercury News.


Google employees board the ferry at Wharf 5 at Port of Redwood City, in Redwood City, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. / Bay Area News Group


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