As a recent college graduate I find myself faced with the very question of paying back my student loans. After countless of hours of research, I have come to one conclusion: student loans will never, ever go away. But that depressing note does have its silver lining- loan forgiveness.
There are very few ways of getting loans 100% forgiven, so the best way of getting a percentage of your outstanding balance paid off is joining a volunteer organization, like the Peace Corps. Every year served can mean up to a 15% reduction of your loan; with a bonus for staying over five years. There are also federal programs that will forgive loans of teachers and health professionals if they take positions in inner cities/rural areas or understaffed locations. There are many other organizations that give awards towards student loans, but anybody applying should be sure and check the specifications/qualifications of any program. Some will only pay for federal loans not private or consolidated loans. For more programs, I would suggest the Salliemae website, which has information and advice on loans.
Those with loans should check their loan organization’s policy on student loans. Some will offer a small percentage of loan reduction for signing up for online bills/automatic debit payments or having a required amount of payments made on time. Another option is looking into their state’s position on loan forgiveness because many have job or income related loan reduction. Also, find out whether or not your university qualifies for loan assistance.
Loan forgiveness can happen through military service-whether in the National Guard or Army there is a guarantee of money to pay for college and/or loans. Of course, choosing this option requires a level of commitment that could mean years of service, so take careful deliberation before joining.
For those struggling with student loan payments there are different opportunities for getting loans forgiven. Its will take some research and consideration of which one suits their needs, but it will also bring a sense of relief and a fatter wallet.