Crossing that big stage and graduating from college can be the start of cash dreams for some and financial nightmares for others. Landing your dream job (or any job), after graduation is becoming harder and harder as the economy is being rebuilt and as that six-month grace period starts dwindling down, graduation bliss slowly turns to panic. Before you hit the panic button consider these five ways to help pay off student debt.
Consider a Public Service Career or Fellowship
Non-profit organizations such as the AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Vista, and Teach for America offer volunteer placements in various fields for a set period of time and upon completion of the program, a portion of student loans will be forgiven. Some also offer academic scholarship towards graduate school should you chose that path. These programs place numerous recent graduates in at-risk areas to work as teachers, social workers, and mentors. What could be better than making a difference, while getting a portion of your loans forgiven? Be mindful however, that most programs require that you make a certain amount of payments to your loans before they take care of the remaining balance.
Making multiple payments on multiple loans at a time can become overwhelming and at times can be difficult to keep up with. Consolidating your loans would lump all of your debt into one sum at which you would only have to make one payment a month. However, keep in mind that if you have loans that can be forgiven, consolidating them with loans that can’t would risk those loans of not being forgiven. Remember to always stay in contact with you loan service providers to find out all the options that can be taken to lower your payments or have them forgiven.
Choose Repayment Options Wisely
There are multiple options for loan repayment that meet the diverse needs of students. There is the standard repayment, which offers the lowest amount of payments in the span of 10 years. Graduated repayment starts with lower payments with gradual increases every two years. Extended payments offer the opportunity for lower payments, but higher interest cost in the span of 25 years. There are many options for paying back student loan debt and the best way to pick the right one for you is to speak with your co-signer as well as your loan service provider to decide how much you can pay along with the co-signer and what option would best fit your income.
Simply Ask Your Employer
If you were fortunate to land your ideal career or any career that pays well, it is possible to talk to your boss about compensation packets to pay off your student loan debt. This is a little known fact. In the end, this would potentially cost your employer less in salary payments. This can best be discussed during salary negotiations at the time of hiring.
Paying any bill online is the easiest form of payment and so are loan payments. By having your loan service provider automatically deduct your payments each month from your account this offers a lower interest rates from private lenders.
Remember don’t be quick to hit the panic button! Where there’s a will, there is most certainly a way. Here’s one more thing to consider, if you choose to have your loans deferred to pursue a graduate degree, apply for scholarships and use the scholarship money to pay off outstanding loan balances.