Most people know that student loan debt is a huge problem in the United States. Over the last few decades, tuition rates have been skyrocketing, and students graduate with tens of thousands of dollars worth of loans. It’s hard for young adults to gain employment when they have this much debt to pay off. Many need years to repay their loans completely and still find themselves unable to meet ends. This article will provide you with some ideas that will help get your student loans paid off.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
In recent years, student loan forgiveness programs have become more common across the United States. These programs forgive the debt if you work in a certain field for a certain number of years. Some jobs include military, public service, teaching, or other careers. The programs also have another requirement; you cannot have any federal or private loan debt from other sources while your student loans are being forgiven. People with undergraduate loans from the federal loan program can qualify for a PSLF.
Public Service Programs for Private Loans
If you have debt from private student loans, there are options to help you get them forgiven, too. One of the most popular programs is the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) program. This program allows those with a student loan balance and at least 10% left on their federal loan forgiveness to make 100% of their payments eligible to go towards their principal balance. The credit left over, up to a certain limit, can then be applied to the interest on your federal student loans. However, if you have balances on both types of loans, the PAYE program only applies to your federal student loans.
Scholarship funding is becoming more and more difficult to obtain, especially if you haven’t applied yourself and sought them out in high school and college. However, there are still many opportunities for scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate degrees and trade schools. To get a scholarship, you must be at the top of your class and have extracurricular activities in which you’ve excelled. But, even if you aren’t an “A” student but show promise and success in life, scholarships can help out a lot.
Alternative Loan Programs 
If you’re having trouble making payments on your federal student loans, other options help people with federal student loan debt go after public and private debt relief. One is the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan or the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan. This program will cap the amount you pay each month at a certain percentage of your income. Any remaining debt you have after that amount has been paid off is then forgiven once you have made payments for 20 to 25 years.
Rethink Credit Cards
Though credit cards can be extremely useful when purchasing or booking airfare or getting emergency cash during certain situations, they are also one of the biggest ways people go into debt. If you use credit cards regularly or even pay your balance in full each month, you set yourself up for loan payments. Even though there are benefits to using a credit card every once in a while, if you consistently use excessive amounts of your credit limit regularly, it will be hard to stop yourself from getting into debt. One way to put the brakes on this habit is to put your credit cards under strict spending limits. This will help keep your debts in check and not go over the limit with interest.
Understand The Cost of Education
The cost of education has been increasing for decades now. The rising cost of tuition makes it hard for many students to pay off their loans in a reasonable amount of time. By understanding how much it costs to attend college, and what your annual student loan payments will be with various loan programs and payment plans, you can better gauge whether or not you are qualified to get student loans.
Get Internships and Entry Level Jobs
Many students are hired into Indianapolis, IN entry level jobs when they graduate from college or boot camp. This is a great way to get work experience and start a career right after a degree. You’ll be able to help your family, which can help pay off student loans even faster. An internship is a great way to get the hang of the field and learn about what it’s like working in that field for real. Other entry-level job options include volunteering, working part-time, or helping with family businesses.
Diversify Your Income
Since student loans are a problem for many people, having other sources of income on the side is important to help pay them off. Some ideas for extra work include freelance writing, babysitting, dog walking, tutoring, or blogging. Work at a second job instead of spending money going out with friends or taking time off from school.
If you need financial help or have a lot of student loan debt, know that you are not alone. Even though the current state of our economy is bleak, there are still programs and opportunities out there that can help those in financial hardship. These programs include student loan forgiveness, public service loan forgiveness, private debt relief, and scholarship funding. Contact a loan servicing agency to get more information on these programs if you’re in financial hardship with your student loans.