Should you give an upfront bonus to cover the cost of relocating? If you do that, the new employee will only get the fraction of that check left over after paying taxes.

On the other hand, if you reimburse the new employee for the expenses incurred, the employee is either going to end up with a severely depleted bank account or have some huge credit card bills that need to be paid before the new employee gets on the payroll.

If the employee pays the entire bill within 30 days, there is no interest charge.

New employees can take out a relocation loan from a San Francisco-based startup, Earnest, at a much lower interest rate.

In a July 16 interview with Louis Beryl, Founder/CEO of Earnest-that bills itself asThe world’s first merit based loan program for financially responsible adults and college graduates”-I learned that the interest rate on that loan could be as low as 5.5%. According to Beryl, “If an employee flies across the country for a job, he will have to buy an airplane ticket, move his clothing and other personal items, pay a security deposit for a place to live, and maybe buy new furniture.”

It partners with many startups-which makes it easier for their humanresources departments to tell new employees that they can work with Earnestand they don’t have to go through a lengthy approval process.

Since most startups can’t afford to give new employees the money they need to relocate, Earnest’s offer sounds like a better solution than many of the alternatives.