College is a time of learning and growth. It’s also a time of student loans, late-night pizza sessions, and feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of credit card debt. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can help pay off your student debt—and not just by increasing your income or cutting back on expenses!
One great plan is to take advantage of income-driven repayment plans
One great plan is to take advantage of income-driven repayment plans. These plans determine your monthly payment based on how much you make and how long you’ve been paying off your loans. If a borrower’s income is low enough, they can qualify for a 0% interest rate on their subsidized loans. How long does it take to pay off college debt? “Federal student loans typically come with plans ranging from 10 to 30 years,” as said by Lantern by SoFi professionals.
If you want to learn more about income-driven repayment plans, check out the US Department of Education website: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans
Volunteer with AmeriCorps or the military
The AmeriCorps program provides service and education opportunities for young people. AmeriCorps members receive a stipend, health insurance, and a small education award upon completion of their term of service.
However, even though you’re getting paid to do this work (and get it done quickly), you still have to pay back the debt that you incur for college. You can apply for government grants such as Pell Grants and work-study programs through your school to help with college costs.
You can also get some help from your employer in repaying your college debt
You may be able to get some extra help from your employer. For example, many employers offer student loan repayment benefits as an employee benefits, and the amounts they’ll cover can vary a lot.
Take advantage of loan forgiveness programs
If you don’t qualify for loan forgiveness, or if the program is not available to you, there is another option: loan cancellation. To be eligible for a student loan cancellation, your loans must have been issued by a government agency or nonprofit institution and they must be partially or fully forgiven (canceled) if you meet the following criteria:
- You teach in an elementary school or secondary school that serves low-income families.
- You are a full-time faculty member at a college whose graduates primarily come from low-income households (you must also have taught for five years).
Make a strategic plan for paying back your loans after graduation
It’s a lot of responsibility to have a student loan, but once you are out of school, there are many ways to pay them back. A common misconception is that it’s impossible to repay your loans on time because they start accruing interest as soon as they are withdrawn from your bank account. In reality, there are many options available for repayment that can make this process easier and less stressful. For example, you might be eligible for an income-based repayment plan if your income is low enough or even zero percent interest rates if certain criteria are met (like being in public service).
In order to ensure the best possible outcome when repaying college debt after graduation, consider using one of these tools.
Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand how to repay your college debt. Paying off your student loans can be a stressful process, but by making a strategic repayment plan and fully understanding your options, it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle.