Performing volunteer work, teaching in certain school districts or within certain areas, or by providing legal and medical services, you can help yourself in paying down your student loan debts by trading the skills you learned by going to college and geting your degree.
Students leaving college and entering the work-world often complain of being confronted by overwhelming frustration of having to pay enormous student loan debts and not really knowing how to tackle that debt.
Tip! Your credit history and the deal you can get with your lender will determine the rate you will get for your refinanced loan. It is therefore important your credit history be good before refinancing your student loans.
By participating in some of the following programs open to certain skill sets and occupational fields, you’ll have an opportunity to see the world and help others at the same time.
Teachers: Some student loans can be cancelled or, as it’s more commonly referred to, “forgiven,” if the college degree leads to or complements a job in the teaching profession. Up to $17,500 of your student loan balance might be cancelled.
Americorps: This organization is the domestic arm of the Peace Corps, and it offers up to $7,400 in living stipends. Will pay approximately $4,725 in education awards upon completion of one year’s successful service.
Nurses: Repayment assistance (not a discharge) is available through the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) to registered nurses in exchange for service in eligible facilities located in areas experiencing a shortage of nurses.
Tip! The 4th option: if you have a job and family, the Income Contingent Repayment Plan may be what you’re looking for. This plan sets a monthly payment based on your annual gross income, family size, and total direct student loan debt, and spreads those payments over a period of 25 years.
Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA): Volunteer with private, non-profit groups whose mission is to eradicate hunger, homelessness, poverty and illiteracy.
Peace Corps: Volunteers that have outstanding Perkins Loans can receive a 15% cancellation on the debt owed for each year of their first two-year service term and a 20% loan cancellation for their third and fourth years of service. Participants can receive up to a 70% cancellation on Perkins loans.
Military Service: The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). Under the Student Loan Repayment Program, when you enlist the Army will pay back up to $65,000 in qualified education loans (up to $20,000 for reservists), the Navy up to $65,000 and the Air Force up to $10,000.
Tip! The third option is the Graduated Repayment Plan. This is another direct student loan consolidation plan with a repayment period between 12 and 30 years.
Legal and medical studies: Studying medicine or law often equals racking up tens of thousands additional dollars of debt. There are law schools which provide loan forgiveness to those students who volunteer to serve in the public interest and/or work for non-profit organizations.
Student Loan Relief for Active Duty Military Personnel: On August 18, 2003 , President Bush signed the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (HEROES).
For more information about student loan discharge, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 if you have a Direct Loan. Contact the lender or agency that holds your loan if you have a FFEL. If you borrowed using a Federal Perkins Loan, contact that particular school which made the loan.
Tip! 5% Fixed Student Loan Consolidation: An offer with consolidation rate locked, with interest rates as low as 4.5%, with other parameters such as no credit check, no pre-payment penalties, this is a free U.
Yes, college was worth the price, both in time invested studying and borrowing the funds to attend classes. But there are options to get your student loans reduced by offering up your skills and time to worthy organizations. You’ll be helping yourself lower the principal of your student loan principal balances and helping others in the process…. a true “win-win” situation.