– by Jess Walter
According to some researchers and medical professionals, student debt is becoming a gateway to addiction. Many of our vices start while we are in college due to the stress that we're under to succeed. However, this stress is significantly magnified when we leave college due to our seemingly endless black hole of student debt, and the potential inability to find a job. Handling money is a problem for many addicts, and is part of the recovery process. But how can you break out of the cycle with crushing amounts of debt? The guiding light of hope comes in the form of creativity. You can pay off your loans without losing an arm and a leg as long as you think outside of the box. Check out these creative ways to recover your student debt.
Refinance Your Loan
When you refinance your loan, you can consolidate your existing private and federal student loans into a whole new loan with a lower interest rate. This will lower your number of monthly payments and allow you to repay more at a time. Depending on the company you choose for student loan refinancing and consolidation, you could save up to $20,000 over the life of your loan. However, you should have certain things in order before you approach a lender. Be sure that your credit score is in the mid to high 600s, you have sufficient income, and a low debt-to-income ratio. Lenders will look at all these things when making a final decision.
Give Back to Others
What goes around come around, so some organizations will pay off your student loan in exchange for community service. If you love traveling and helping out others, join the Peace Corps. After signing up for the Peace Corps, students can have their federal loans deferred or partly canceled. If you don’t want to travel, then sign up for AmeriCorps, which offers a Public Service Loan Forgiveness program which allows you to work for them and pay off your student debt. Being a part of a community and giving to people that need help may also be a great step on your way to recovery.
Move to Kansas or Niagara Falls
If you don’t have anything keeping you where you live, and are looking for a new place to start over, it may be time to relocate somewhere that will help pay off your student loans. By moving to Kansas, you can find an authentic and wholesome life, with fewer college bills. 77 counties in Kansas have created the Rural Opportunity Zones program, which provides financial benefits to people that move to their county. You can either receive your financial incentive as income tax waivers for up to five years, or student loan repayments for up to $15,000.
If the Midwest isn’t your style, move to Niagara Falls, New York. If you rent an apartment or own a home in the designated downtown area, you can earn up to $3,500 a year for your student debt.
Paying off your student debt doesn’t have to come at the cost of your recovery. Instead, think outside of the box and find a program or avenue for you. Once you get rid of your past debts, you can move on towards your new future.