Looking for ways to pay off student loans? After you complete college, you main focus is gaining adequate employment in your chosen field. But for far too many, the stress of paying off college debt is exhausting. Entry and mid-level positions often times simply do not pay enough to quickly pay down student loans; especially when you factor in the cost of living. Thankfully there are a few solutions to help you pay down your student loans.
One is the Income Based Repayment plan (IBR). What happens is government loan officers will look at your current income and come up with a repayment plan that you can afford. People with graduate degrees often have monthly payments of over $1000. With an IBR, that payment can drop down to $300. Another upside to the IBR is if you choose to work for the government, a non-profit organization or as a volunteer, after certain amount of years you may be eligible for loan forgiveness programs, where your loan amount and any interest accrued will be forgiven.
Another option is to apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can. This is money that you don’t have to pay back. Also if you work, see if your employer offers any type of tuition assistance. Many companies do, especially if the field you are studying is relevant to your current position. If you don’t work, get involved in a work-study program. These jobs are usually a part of your financial aid package and the work is conveniently located on campus. Whether you work on campus or through a private employer, try to save at least half of your income in a high-interest savings account. That money will really come in handy at the end of your college education and you can apply it to your student loans.
Then there is loan consolidation. Sometimes the method of consolidating college loans gets a bad rep. But the negativity comes from programs that charge a high interest rate to consolidate. An easy way around this is to do your research. Find the best student loan consolidation program, offered at the best rates. Get quotes and be sure to read all the fine print. The only bad thing with consolidation, is usually once you go this route, you will not be eligible for any type of loan forgiveness program.
Paying off student debt is a hassle. But if you research all the opportunities available to you, you may be able to pay off student loans sooner than you expect.