You’ve probably heard the staggering student loan debt statistics like how the average student loan debt is at $30,000 per graduate, and more than three percent of graduates have more than $100,000 in debt attached to their name. Unfortunately, more than 13 percent of those student loans are in default. But they don’t have to be. If you’re struggling to repay your student loans, there are options you can take to tackle that debt, regardless of the amount.
One option to explore is student loan forgiveness. Depending on your loans and your qualifications, you may be eligible to get a portion or all of your student loans forgiven, or cancelled, after completing the requirements for the program. Keep in mind that many of these programs require specific loans taken out during a certain period and used for specific course study. Here are four different student loan forgiveness options to explore:
Find a job that offers a student loan forgiveness option.
There are jobs that offer loan forgiveness if you meet the standards and complete the requirements, such as working there for a specific amount of time and making regular student loan payments. Public service jobs often offer loan forgiveness, as well as teachers, lawyers and health care professionals. Keep in mind that not all loans may qualify for these programs. Also, in some cases, if you have defaulted on a federal student loan, you are no longer eligible to explore any student loan forgiveness plans.
Volunteer for student loan forgiveness.
Besides helping others, some volunteer opportunities will help pay down your student loan balance. Government related agencies such as AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and VISTA offer different types of loan forgiveness. There are also independent organizations that offer volunteer hours for student loan repayment such as SponsorChange.org and ZeroBound.com. As with any student loan forgiveness opportunity, you’ll want to fully understand your obligations before signing up.
Move to a place that pays your student loans.
A previous brass article, "A city, a state, and province to help pay your student loans" points out that there are places that will offer some type of student loan forgiveness if you move to a specific location and abide by their terms. For example, in Detroit, you need to live in a specific downtown neighborhood and work for one of their specific companies. Counties in Kansas not only offer student loan repayments, but they also offer discounts on buying a home or land for college graduates.
Join the military.
Joining the military just to get student loans repaid is probably not the best option. But if you were planning on joining the military already, it is definitely a nice perk. There are many opportunities for student loan forgiveness in the military. Generally, you’ll need to indicate that you’re interested in student loan forgiveness prior to enlisting to be certain you and your loans meet the eligibility requirements. Opportunities will require you to serve for a certain amount of time to qualify for any loan forgiveness.