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10 Creative Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt

10 Creative Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt

For decades, people have been told to go to college because doing so would give them the best shot at a great career. Some college graduates are not as fortunate. Subsequently, they are forced to take jobs that don’t even require a college degree. We all know that those jobs make paying student loans very difficult! Well, fear not, you will find a solution in these 10 creative ways to pay off your student loan debt.

1. Income Based Repayment Plans

While this option has been becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, some college graduates and dropouts still don’t know about income based repayment plans. The Department of Education created these programs to help people manage their student loan debt by reducing their monthly payments.

Monthly payments are determined by your annual income of the previous year. For some people, their monthly payment could be $20 or even $5 dollars a month.

Others may not be required to pay anything. If they have an income that is at or below the poverty line, their monthly payments will be marked as paid (even though they are not paying anything). Depending on your repayment plan, the remainder of your loan can be forgiven within 20 or 25 years.

Program participants are required to submit their annual income every year for the purpose of recalculating the monthly payment and continuity.

The Wall Street Journal has found that only 40% of people with student loans are paying them back. A lot of people think that they are hopeless and tend to let their loans go into default. The income based repayment plan is a great way for people to manage their student loans more responsibly.

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    2. Kansas Rural Opportunity Zones

    The state of Kansas is working hard to discourage population decline. The Rural Opportunity Zone program encourages Americans to move to rural Kansas to experience the lower cost of living and high quality of life. The zones are made up of 77 counties that have been authorized to offer student loan payments.

    In order to be eligible for the income tax waivers, individuals must meet the following requirements:

    – Have a college degree (either undergraduate or postgraduate)
    – Have an outstanding student loan balance
    – Have established residency in a rural opportunity zone after July 1, 2011 and on or after the date on which the county opts in the student loan program

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    Despite living in uncertain times, Americans are still hopeful in fulfilling the American Dream. Kansas has enabled Americans to realize their dream by not only offering free land but also student loan assistance. Some people have been a victim of misfortune. The state of Kansas is giving them a second chance.

    KS Rural Opportunity Zones graphic

      3. New York Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Program

      The state of New York has been looking for ways to stimulate their agriculture sector. In return, the state is providing loan forgiveness to people who have obtained a college degree from a New York college and agree to operate a farm on a full-time basis for five years.

      Working in the agriculture sector is quite a noble path, as it is one of the cornerstones of our economy, A lot of new farming operations either break even or don’t make enough to scale their operation.

      The state of New York recognizes that their agricultural sector can only be successful if their farmers are given sufficient support. Their loan forgiveness program gives farmers a chance to start off with a clean slate.

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        4. National Health Service Repayment Program

        Shouldn’t the people who bring wellness into our lives be given a break? The government thinks so. The National Health Service Corps (a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services program) is giving primary care medical, dental, and mental health clinicians up to $50,000 to repay their student loans in exchange for a two year commitment to work at a NHSC site that helps underprivileged communities.

        After the initial service commitment, corps members can continue working to receive additional loan repayment assistance.

        Healthcare grads typically have more student loan debt than other grads (excluding law and most STEM majors); yet are likely to secure a high paying career. This program is another option that can offer healthcare grads to have at least half (if not more) of their student loan debt paid in exchange for serving underprivileged communities.

        Which may be ideal for people who came from such communities and desire to give back in service.

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          5. Be Zerobound

          Zerobound is a program that provides an innovative option to reduce student loan debt for graduates who are dedicated to volunteering. Zerobound brings together volunteers, organizations, and sponsors together on one platform to connect and support each other.

          They work with all graduates, ranging from those who are seriously struggling with their debt to those who just need a bit of help.

          This is a great program for students who have spare time to contribute to a cause that resonates with their passion. In return, they are able to receive some financial relief from their student loan debt.

          Zero-Bound-Logo1

            6. Move to Niagara Falls Program

            The city of Niagara Falls, New York has experienced a significant population decline, due mostly to the relocation of several industrial corporations. While it remains a tourist attraction for Americans and Canadians, the city is looking for other ways to boost their economy to avoid losing their “city” status.

            They are hoping that by enticing people to move there; it will bring in talent that will positively influence the labor force, which could keep them there longer than the two year requirement.

            New residents who live there for two years will get a total of $7,000 to pay off their student loans. In order to qualify for the reimbursement, the applicant must have attained a two or four year degree from an accredited school and rent a home or apartment in a designated area.

            This program presents a great opportunity for people who don’t have a lot of student loan debt and any major life commitments.

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              7. Health Professions Faculty Program

              Faculty working at a health professions college or university can receive up to $40,000 toward the repayment of their student loans if they come from a disadvantaged background. In return, they must serve on the faculty for two years.

              In order to be eligible for the program, individuals must meet the following requirements:

              – Be a U.S. citizen (either born or naturalized), U.S. National, or Permanent Resident
              – Have a degree or be currently enrolled in an approved graduate training program within certain health disciplines
              – Have an employment commitment for a full-time or part-time faculty position for a minimum of two years, beginning on or before July 31, 2015
              – Be from a disadvantaged background, based on economic or environmental factors

              While healthcare grads often have more student loan debt than other graduates, they are very likely to secure a career in that field. This program is another option that can offer healthcare grads to have at least half (if not more) of their student loan debt paid in exchange for serving on the faculty for two years.

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                8. Perkins Loan Cancellation Program

                Perkins Loans are low interest federal loans that are reserved for students in exceptional financial need. Perkins Loan recipients may cancel a portion of their loan (or even the entire loan in some cases) if they are employed in certain occupations. The current list of accepted occupations for this program are listed as the following:

                – Teachers
                – Corps members (Peace Corps, Americorps, or Action Corps)
                – Law enforcement officers
                – Social workers
                – Head Start workers
                – Professional providers of early intervention services
                – Healthcare technicians

                There is no application that is required to be considered for this program. If you are interested. you need to contact the school that processed your loan.

                As mentioned earlier, the Wall Street Journal has found that only 40% of people with student loans are paying them back. So, this program is a great way for public service employees to reduce a good chunk of their student loan debt.

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                  9. USDA Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

                  Do you love animals? Have you ever thought about being an animal doctor? Well, this benefit might convince you to be a veterinarian. The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program will pay up to $25,000 per year for people who agree to serve three years in designated areas that have shortages of veterinarians.

                  In our culture, we have learned to consider our pets as part of our family. Therefore, it requires that they be entitled to the same level of healthcare as humans. In return, the USDA are giving qualified veterinarians up to $75,000 in tuition reimbursements for dedicating three years in underserved areas.

                  USDA-fields

                    10. U.S. Office of Personal Management Program

                    One thing that you don’t have to worry about as a government employee is the lack of benefits. The U.S. Office of Personal Management makes every employee eligible to have their loans paid by their employer.

                    Government agencies will make payments to the loan holder for up to $10,000 for an employee in an calendar year and $60,000 as the total maximum.

                    Commonly, people equate a government career to a high paying salary. This is simply not true. However, their abundance of benefits including student loan repayment makes having such a career worthwhile.

                    usopm

                      Featured photo credit: Unhappy Man Mask Sad Face Sitting Depressed via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on April 28, 2020

                      9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

                      9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

                      As technology evolves and information becomes more accessible, it has also become more challenging to define success. A lot of people are trapped in the rat race while trying to discover the actual formula for success.

                      You could become overwhelmed with what tools, techniques or philosophies to imbibe while trying to get tips over the internet. At every click and turn, there are ‘how-tos and quick-fix’ on how to become successful overnight. You will find several courses, articles, videos and books on how to achieve financial success.

                      But what if I tell you it doesn’t have to be complicated as people made it out to be? What if you could achieve success by merely following these 9 millionaire success habits?

                      1. Read for Personal Development

                      A daily habit I have discovered millionaires share in common is reading. For instance, if you are an entrepreneur, you need to read to become an efficient leader and a productive business owner. Reading helps you to grow and learn without going to a business school.

                      A research conducted by Thomas Crowley indicates about 85% of self-made millionaires read at least two or more books each month. [1] Warren Buffett is one of these examples. He spends 80% of his day reading. In the early days of his investment career, he would read 600 to 1000 pages in a single day.

                      While millionaires sometimes read for pleasure, they also learn to improve themselves. They read topics on leadership, how-tos, self-help, biographies, lifehacks and also follow current events.

                      Here’re some recommendations for you: 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                      2. Establish Multiple Sources of Income

                      Another success habit I noticed about successful people is that they don’t depend on a single income source. Every millionaire possesses multiple sources of income. This helps them to manage economic challenges and also make more money.

                      They are passive income addicts. They earn interests from loans, rental income from real estate, royalties from intellectual properties, dividends from investments. They also launch a side business or run a website or sell information products.

                      How income is made either passively or actively is what separates the successful from the wannabes. They are always learning ways to build multiple streams of income.

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                      3. Live on a Stipulated Monthly Budget

                      An average millionaire does not believe in luck and jackpot. They take the time to understand cash flow-income and expenses. Based on this, they establish a monthly budget and religiously stick to it.

                      The essence of the budget is to minimize unnecessary expenses. This will help you gain complete control of your financial life. Budgeting helps you to avoid overspending to achieve your financial goals. Here’re some tips to help you stuck to your budget: 32 Hacks for Sticking to Your Budget

                      4. Manage and Maximize Money

                      The most significant education for a millionaire is financial intelligence. Nobody attains financial freedom without gaining financial intelligence. This is the more reason millionaire, regardless of their income, keep their knowledge about tax strategies updated.

                      They always seek to reduce their tax bills. One approach they employ is by living or incorporating their business in states with no income tax.

                      Do you know that about 60 companies paid $0 legally in the 2018 tax year? Some of these companies that ‘avoided'(note: not evaded) federal income tax include Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, General Motors, Delta. Their US income was totaled at $79 billion with an effective tax rate of -5%.

                      What’s the deal? They got a tax refund.

                      How do they accomplish these?

                      An ITEP report indicated that they have the culture of throwing huge sums at tax experts who assist them in discovering creative, as well as convoluted means of paying little tax as much as possible.[2]

                      5. Avoid Debt

                      Another habit that separates the millionaires from the rest of the world is how they manage debt.

                      They don’t live an extravagant lifestyle; instead, they only buy what they need and can pay for. They do not book hotels and flights by using their credit cards to pay for them.

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                      They are conscious of the interest rates even when they use credits cards or take loans. If possible, they try to pay with cash because of its zero percent interest rate.

                      6. Set Daily Goals

                      It does not matter if they are setting up a business, a career, or financial projections; they have the success habit of setting short term goals. They plan daily and weekly goals to generate momentum in achieving their long-term goals.

                      Ensure you prioritize when setting daily goals. This will help you to achieve the most important to-dos on your list.

                      Setting priorities will help you to focus on highly rewarding activities. If you desire financial freedom, it is wise to pursue activities that earn you thousands of dollars rather than hundreds of dollars.

                      7. Don’t Act Rich

                      The goal is not to act rich but to be productive. Interestingly, Thomas Stanley buttressed in his book that for the most prestige brands of cars, about 86% percent are toys of the non-millionaires. While most believe that people with huge fortunes tend to drive exotic cars, in reality the largest consumers of pricey cars are aspiring millionaires.[3]

                      According to findings by Experian Automotive Researchers, 61% of individuals who earn $250,000 or more rarely buy luxury brands. Instead, they buy Hondas, Toyotas, and Fords like the rest of the world. The reason is they are not ready to spend money on premium cars that tend to drop in value in a couple of years as it would cost money. Millionaires invest in assets that appreciate.[4]

                      8. Own or Buy Businesses

                      In Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant, he divided how you earn income into four quadrants. The E and the S quadrants take the left position while the B and the I are on the right side. According to Robert, it is possible to be on all quadrants, but the millionaires are not.[5]

                      • E stands for employee – they work for others
                      • S stands for self-employed – they work for themselves
                      • B stands for a Business owner- employees work for them (500 or more employees)
                      • I stand for Investors – Money work for them like Warren Buffet.

                      Your goal is to move from the left quadrant to the right quadrants where you own big businesses or make money work for you.

                      It is possible to become financially successful by pursuing what you love. For instance, if you love writing, aspire to be the best seller. Wealth and passion work together.

                      Check out How to Start a Small Business with Little to No Money for tips.

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                      9. Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

                      A millionaire holds patience as an essential virtue. It takes patience to become successful, not only in finance but in every aspect of life. While it is possible to become financially successful at an early age, most millionaires hit it at age 50. They live a moderate life, invest in their future and retire rich.

                      Bonus: How to Develop the Millionaire Success Habits?

                      Having learned these habits, the next question is,

                      How can I develop the Millionaire Success habits?

                      Here are six values you will need to develop:

                      Establish Your Life Vision

                      You need to be clear about what you want in life to set yourself for a life of success. Your vision has to go beyond becoming a millionaire to understanding why you want to become one. Any great entrepreneur you will ever find has a clear vision and an established mission.

                      Understanding why you are doing what you do will drive you to become the kind of successful person you want to be.

                      Make Your Passion a Profession

                      When your passion becomes your profession, work becomes pleasurable. Loving what you do enables money to flow to you and through you.

                      So what’s going to be? Wake up every morning by speaking positive words into your work, love what you do, and focus on the work that brings you joy.

                      Take a look at this article and learn how to make it happen: 5 Steps To Turn Your Passion Into A Career

                      Focus on Solution

                      Focusing on the solution means establishing the problem that you or your business address. This will help you focus on the solutions when others are faced with challenges.

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                      A millionaire has a mindset that is fixed on the solution. He or she knows there’s a way out, and that every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

                      Improve your problem solving skills with these tips: 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                      Develop Your Leadership Skills

                      Leadership skills are an asset that is indispensable if you want to develop a millionaire success habit. The more you hone your leadership skills, the more you will attract leaders who share your values.

                      Be Growth-Focused

                      Millionaire entrepreneurs prioritize self-improvement. Here’s how to achieve it:

                      • Get a coach. Coaching will impact your life, and you will achieve peak performance in life and business when you have a life coach.
                      • Be coachable. It is not enough to have a coach; you must be coachable. Sometimes, you need feedback and counsel to reposition your life and business. A coach has the wisdom and experience to counsel you from a higher perspective. The more you receive feedback and work on yourself, the more you become better at what you do and who you are.

                      Flip Your Thought Pattern From Acting To Being

                      It is not enough to have a millionaire success habit, you must also become a person of positive influence. This is how you can become significant. Bill Gates is not only rich; he is changing lives in Africa and different parts of the world.

                      If you want to become successful, you must first be and think like a successful person. This is how resources you need can flow into your life.

                      Here’s a final thought from me:

                      It is not enough to do something to have something; success is about being someone who possesses what is needed to take positive and inspired actions.

                      More Success Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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