By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
We all know how serious of an issue mounting student loan debt has become, but students may not know that there are certain ways to earn income that can go directly to paying back school loans. Sure, landing a high-paying job right out of college is ideal, but it is rarely realistic. If you are struggling with loan debt, below are some options that you may not know actually exist.
- Certain volunteer agencies, such as AmeriCorps, will offer an educational reward to their volunteers. In fact, full time volunteers can earn over $5000 in educational rewards per year. Obviously it would be hard to work and also volunteer full time, but even seasonal and half-time volunteers earn rewards. Visit AmeriCorps’ website here for more information.
- Some states will offer to pay off a portion of your loans if you are willing to relocate. New York and Kansas both have programs in specific areas. While it would be a major change, it is something that you can think about.
- Certain companies in certain professional fields may forgive some of your loans if you are a specialist in an under-served area. Government employees have the best chance at using this method, but other areas, such as healthcare, teaching, and farming, may offer loan forgiveness.
- The military has programs in place to forgive student loan debt in return for your service. For example, the Army will offer to repay part or all of you student loans in return for three years of service and meeting other specific requirements. Please visit the Army’s website here for more information.
- A new trend with large corporations is that they are helping their employees pay off part of their student loan debt. If you are researching potential employers, see which employers might offer this type of benefit.
While none of the above options are sure things, they are available if you meet the right criteria. The best way to pay back your student loans is to use smart budgeting techniques such as the ones listed here, but if you are struggling to find the income to pay them back, research the above options and see if any of them work for you.