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Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses

January 8, 2012

Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses

The student loan forgiveness for nurses program is referred to as the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) which is administered by the US Department of Health and Human Resources.

Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses

Student loan forgiveness via the US Department of Health and Human Resources  allows registered nurses as well as those who are in an advanced practice in nursing to be eligble to have 60 percent of the entirety of their debt paid off if they agree to work a 2 year term in an area that essentially in low in suffiecient medical care, also known as a “Critical Shortage Facility” which can be a non profit facility as well as public or private.  Besides Critical Short Facilty jobs, other jobs that qualify consist of working at a school of nursing in which it is a non profit organization, either private or public.

There is also the option of providing an extra year of sevice in exchange which at the conclusion of the year the possibility of having an extra 25% paid off of medical school loan debt presents itself. No matter which term, when fulfilled the individual enjoys a perecentage of their debt wiped away, but if one doesn’t adhere to a contract then serious repercussions are taken affecting the applicant financially, unless an application to suspend or waive the term of service is submitted and accepted.

Requirements For Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program Eligibility

General requirements for NELRP qualification consist of:

  • Being a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident.
  • You attained nursing education must come from a school that is accredited and came from a school in the United States.
  • Working as a RN or an advanced pratice nurse at a location that is a “Critcal Shortage Facility” or in what is called a “Health Professional Shortage Area” in which the inidividual is putting in a minimum of 32 hours or work each week.
  • Have outstanding debt due to the reason of qualifying loan debt, which you attained the degree you set out to obtain with the funding of the nursing loans.

Loans That Qualify

Loans that are able to qualify for student loan forgiveness for nurses include:

  • Loans that were used for tution fees as well as any other other expenses that pertainined to getting your degree, which even includes expenses used to pay for your living situation.
  • Consolidation loans also qualify if they were lended in the form of government loans or from a commercial source

When one obtains a jobs that qualifies for nurse loan forgivenes they end up getting paid whatever their employer decides to pay them as wel las whichever benefits are applicable, income is not necessarily changed because one is eligible. In order to fulfill the nursing student loan forgiveness program, one must not miss more than 7 weeks each year.

Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses Alternatives

If you cannot get a job in a facility that is experiencing a shortage, there are other alternatives that you can consider that can offer you student loan forigiveness for nurses which include working a community serivce job for the Peace Corps, Americorps  as well as Volunteers in Serivce to America (Vista). Each organization either provides its workers with a stipend around 4,000 – 6,000 dollars per year to put towards student loan debt, for example VISTA gives $4725, or pays off a percentage of their loan debt each year of service, anywhere from 15 to 30 percent per year.

 

Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Overview

December 31, 2011

Obama Student Loan Forgiveness

Obama Student Loan Forgiveness

The Obama student loan forgivenss act was designed by the president himself, who knows all about student loan debt as he and Michelle Obama were once over $100,000 in debt from student loans. The Obama student loan forgiveness program is designated for those who have federal loans, like Stafford, Perkins and PLUS Loans as well as any form of Direct Loans, which Obama has ruled that after a 20 year timeframe of an individual paying off their student loans, if they still have a balance after the 20 years are up, then whatever is left on that balance is forgiven, or essentially wiped away. This is a significant step forward considering that student loan debt was forgiven after 25 years under the previous forgiveness plan. Now the Obama student loan forgiveness act only applies to federal lending, private lending is not currently applicable to receive forgiveness.

Other Aspects Of Obama Student Loan Forgiveness

Those paying off student loans can also take advantage of other forms of the Obama loan forgiveness program, which include:

  • Public Service – Public service jobs can qualify for a 10 year repayment program for the individual who is paying off their loans. During a 10 year timeframe, they will work the public service job which they will need to make 10 years of on time payments, which at the end of their service whatever is left on the loan debt will be forgiven.
  • Discretionary Income – The Obama forgiveness program has also state that all student loan repayment, staring some time in 2012 will be capped at 10 percent of ones “discretionary income”, verses what it used to be which was 15 percent. Discretionary income is essentially what amount of money is left after one has purchased all they need to live, like food and shelter. This aspect of the  Obama student loan forgiveness is known as the “Pay As You Earn” proposal which it is projected that over million and a half people will enjoy a significant drop in their monthly payment, with over a $100 less or more each month being very possible.
  • Consolidation – If one chooses to consolidate their FFEL Loans they will be able to enjoy a .25 percent deduction in their interest rate throughout the entire time of their repayment, if they enroll in the “auto debit” program, where monthly payments are deducted each month automatically.
  • Know Before You Owe – To be even better prepared for the future, encompassing the Obama forgiveness plan with be a sheet referred to as “Know Before You Owe” which will provide a self help sheet for those going into college in the form of being able to calculate what they will end up owing before they even start school. This “fact sheet” has the main goal of giving one a feel for what they will owe so that they can develop a plan of attack for paying off their loans long before they are in debt.

All in all the Obama student loan forgiveness program is set up to allow students to still be able to go to school without having the burden hanging over them of how they are going to pay off their debt. It will also avoid students from having to go into default on their loans as well as bankruptcy which will ultimately have short term and long term negative effects.

 

 

Private Student Loan Bankruptcy

December 15, 2011

Private Student Loan Bankruptcy

Private Student Loan Bankruptcy

There has been a lot of debate to whether private student loan bankruptcy is actually possible, which there have been cases where individuals have been able to discharge their student loans through the act of filing bankruptcy, where as some privatge lenders actually state that bankruptcy is not a possibilty. The general rule of thumb that applies to the eligibilty to partake in student loan bankruptcy for private loans is that you must prove that your are experiencing what is called “undue hardship”. The basic definition of undue hardship is, if student loan payments are creating a large burden on yourself or the one who is responsible for paying off your loan like a parent, or creating hardship for your family like a couple or a couple with children.

What situation qualifies for undue hardship? Well for examples sake, Sallie Mae one of the biggest providers of private student loans, states that in order to qualify for undue hardship and use private student loan bankruptcy as a way to discharge your loans, you must basically not be able to work and not able to make any money at all. In this case, in order to use bankrytcy for private student loans, you will actually need to go in front of a judge and prove your situation.

Why Is Private Student Loan Bankruptcy So Hard To Qualify For

The basic reason that it is hard use private student loan bankruptcy is the fact that is has no benefit for anyone, being both your private loan lender who will lose money as well as tax payers will actually lose out on money as well. Not to mention that fact that the one who files for private loan bankruptcy will end up ruining their credit as well as pretty much losing out on the privelage of borrowing money. So the real reason to make it so hard to qualify is to protect pretty much everyone who would be affected.

Latest News On Private Student Loan Bankruptcy

Although the outlook on one qualifying for private student loan bankruptcy looks pretty dismal, there is a law in the works that can drastically change the rules to who and what situation can qualify for bankruptcy. The law that is being processed right now is:

  • The Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011 – This act is just now in the first step of the entire legislative process.
  • Fairness For Struggling Students Act of 2011

Alternatives To Consider Before Bankruptcy

Private student loan bankrupcy obviously should be considered as a last resort as it can impose negative situations on your life. Some other alternatives that you can consider, which will help you get out of debt are:

  • Talking To Your Lender – If you contact your private loan lender and explain your current situation, there is a great possibility that they will work with your, and cater a payment plan that geared more to what you can afford. This can be a great method as lenders want you to pay back the loan and not discharge, so they will often times take extreme measures to keep your business. This can include your payments being reduced or stopped for a while, but will consist of accruing interest during that time.
  • Consolidation – Consolidation of your loans is another great option to consider to avoid filing for private student loan bankruptcy, even if you have one loan as consolidation requires at least one loan. What consolidation does is stretch out your repayment term to as long as 25 years, which will reduce your payments, as they know you will end up paying more in interest over the life of the repayment, but once you are able to pay more you can usually do so without penalty and get out of debt faster. One thing to keep in mind is that you can get lower interest and better terms with good credit, which you either need to have good credit or find a cosigner who does.

 

Direct Lending Student Loans

December 14, 2011

Direct Lending Student Loans

Direct lending student loans are any loans that come from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which are set up for the purpose of providing both parents as well as students with loans that have low interest rates, compared to other lenders, especially private. The source that is acutally doing the lending of direct student loans is the US Department of Education themselves. The direct loans that are made available through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP) consist of:

  1. PLUS Loans – These are the loans that are designated for applicants to be either the parent or gaurdian, or in some cases the step parent or a dependable student. Direct lending student loans from the PLUS Loans program consist of borrowers paying fixed 7.9 percent interest rates with benefits that include; no early repayment penalties, interest rate discounts when enrolling in automatic debit as well as you can borrow up to the amount which you need to pay for the students education.
  2. Undergraduate Subsidized Student Loans – These are made available for undergraduate students with fixed interest rates that stand at 3.4 percent, which subsidized loans are for those who have the most financial need. These come in the form of Stafford Loans.
  3. Graduate Subsidized Student Loans – Made available specifically for graduate students, which they pay a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent. Graduate direct lending student loans also come as Stafford Loans.
  4. Direct Unsubsidized Loans – Which these are for every applicant to apply for and has a fixed interest rate which is at 6.8 percent as well.

(Fixed interest rates are rates that will never go up or down, stay the same, throughout the life of your repayment term.)

Direct Lending Student Loans

Direct lending loans for students allow their eligible applicants to not have to pay any payments on their loan debt until after they graduate, under the circumstances that they enroll in a class schedule that is half time, which is at least 6 credits per semester.

Direct Lending Student Loans Repayment

When it comes to the repayment of direct lending student loans, the terms are the same for most all other federal loan programs, which include:

  • Standard Repayment – Repayment lasts up to 10 years which the minimum payment must exceed $50.
  • Extended Repayment – This options allow one to be able to pay their loans off over 25 years, but they must have at least $30,000 in student loan debt.
  • Graduated Repayment – This direct lending student loan option starts your payments out on the low end, and gradually go up over time, usually increasing every year or two.
  • Income Based Repayment – This program is designated to assist those who are going through a “partial financial hardship”.
  • Income Contigent Repayment – This repayment option has payments that are set up to be 20 percent of what you make each month. This options is only made available for subsidized direct lending student loans.

If you are interested in applying for direct lending student loans, all you have to do is fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which then your school will have the ultimate say in the amount of money you will be eligible for.

Student Loan Consolidation Rates

December 3, 2011

Student Loan Consolidation Rates

Being that we are are talking about student loan consolidation rates, that means that you have most likely graduated so congratulations on making it through the grueling road! When it comes to rates that consolidation companies will offer, there are two main categories, those being a fixed rate which is an interest rate that stays the same for the entire time you are paying off your consolidation loan, as well as variable rates which can go up or down during the time you are paying back your debt, depending on the general index of all interest rates.

One can consolidate both private as well as federal loans, but must be done seperately, which student loan interest rates tend to be much lower on federal loan consolidaion. To give you an idea of how rates are calculated, the lender will average all your current interest rates that you are paying on your loans and will round that number to the nearest 1/8 percent.

Student Loan Consolidation Rates

How To Get The Best Student Loan Consolidation Rates

When it comes to getting the best student loan consolidation rates, it is a known fact that some of the lowest rates are found amongst non profit consolidation companies, as they are not looking to close you as a customer in order to make a paycheck, which you can verify if they are non profit by asking them to prove it by showing you the non-profit formation being: (501(c)(3)). The below tips are some great rules to follow when it comes time for find a company that will give you the best student loan consolidation rates, which will mean you paying a lot less in the form of interest that you would with a high consolidation rate.

  • You will want to go for the best principal rate reduction if you want to pay off your debt early, which if you do want to pay early, make sure that they do not have any repayment penalties for early repayment or higher than the minimum payment.
  • For those of you who are looking to spread out payments for as long as possible, you will want to look for an interest rate reduction.
  • Find companies that offer discounts that are applicable throughout the life of the repayment, not just for the first couple months.
  • Do not settle with the first company you find, compare student loan consolidation rates.
  • In the event of private student loan consolidation, you want to either have good credit, or bring a friend or family member who has a great credit score, where their higher the score will most often mean the lower the interest rate. If possible try to get an interest rate that is at least 750.
  • If you already consolidated your loans and have built up a better credit score during that time, you can consider switching to a different lender, which in turn will provide you with a lower student loan interest rate due to your credit score boost. Or you could try and negotiate with lenders and tell them that you are thinking about doing business with another lender, and then ask them if they will drop your interest rates or provide you with any other discounts in order to keep your business.

It is also important to know that there many companies out there that are trying to scam you. You can avoid these companies and get great student loan consolidation rates by verifying the company by checking if they are part of one of the following; The Association of Debt Settlement and/or Internal Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDB).

 

Student Loan Limits – How Much You Can Borrow

December 2, 2011

Student Loan Limits

When it comes time to pay tuition, it can be tough gathering all the money you need together, so you may be concerned with what student loan limits are at, and how they can assist you in providing enough funding to be able to pay for your tuition. Being that there are both private and federal student loan limits, we will discect the limits for each, showing you the range of what you can qualify for when going to apply for loans.

Student Loan Limits

Federal Student Loan Limts

Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans come in the form of both subsidized or needs based loans, as well as unsubidized, or not based off of financial needs. The student loan limts for Stafford Loans differ for both subsidized and usubsidized, and are currently set at:

  • Subsidized – Student loan limits are set for each year of schooling for subsidized Staffords Loans, and range from; 1st years up to $3,500, 2nd years up to $4,500 and 3rd years and above who have a limit of $5,500. Graduate loan limits are set at up to $6,500 per year. Lifetime loan limits are set at up to $23,000
  • Unsubsidized – For unsubsidized Stafford Loans, they have categories of both dependent and independent students, with loan limits for students that are independent being much hire. Loan limits for dependent students are up to $2,000 per year no matter what year you are in, and up to $8,000 throughout the lifetime of ones schooling. The independent student loan limits are; up to $6,000 for both the 2st and 2nd years, from the 3rd year on loan limits are up to $7,000 and for graduates their borrowing limits are up to $12,000 each year. The lifetime borrowing limits are set at #34,500 for the Stafford Loan Program.

Perkins Loans

  • Student loan limits for Federal Perkins Loans are set at up to $5,500 per year for undergraduates, and up to $8,500 per year for graduates. Their lifetime loan limits are set at $27,500 for undergraduates and at $60,000 for the cumulative studies of both undergraduates and graduates.

PLUS Loans

  • PLUS Loan differ from that of the loans programs mentioned above as they are for parents who apply for loans that are designated for their dependant children. The loans limits students can enjoy with PLUS Loans are the “Cost of Attendence” minus whatever other student aid they are receiving.

 

Private Student Loan Limits

When it comes to the private student loan limits, one gets more free reign on things, as you can borrow how ever much you need to compensate for what your federal student aid  didn’t cover. So say, for example, your costs of attendance is $20,000 for the year, and you received $2000 from the Pell Grant Program, $4000 from the Stafford Loan Program and $1000 from any other source of federal student aid, totaling your feder student aid to $7000, your student loan limits for borrowing from a private lender would be set at $13,000. Now private student loans can be great and can help you cover the rest of your tuition costs, but they tend to come with higher interest rates as well as less flexible repayment terms, compared to federal loans, so the best method to use when going and applying for private student loans is to take somebody who has an awesome credit score, like 750 or higher, which will both drop the interest rates lower than what you would have paid with bad credit, as well as set your up for other discounts.

(The student loan limits used above are for examples purposes, and by no means represent what you may or may not recieved in federal loan money.)

Student Loan Interest Rates – What Rates Are Currently At

November 25, 2011

Student Loan Interest Rates

student loan interest rates

Student loan interest rates can vary, but the general rule of thumb when it comes to the subject is that federal student loan interest rates are most always lower than private student loan interest rates. To give you an idea for what your interst rate might look like for federal student loans, below are the top 3 most used federal loan programs as well as their interest rates, which are based of of numbers in late 2011:

  • Federal Stafford Loans – Interest rates start as low as 3.4 % and are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Federal Perkins Loans – 5 % Fixed Interest Rate. These loans are based off the financial need of the applicant and have a 9 month grace period.
  • Federal PLUS Loans – Interest rates are fixed at 7.9 %. These loans are applied for by parents who are taking out loans for dependent children.

As far as private student loan interest rates go, rates are constantly fluctuating, and can be any number at any time, but to give you an idea for what interest loans may look like when applying for private student loans, here are a few lenders and their student loan interest rates:

  • Sallie Mae – Interest rates are capped at 9.875 LIBOR (London International Bank Offer Rate), which is basically the interest rate that is charged between a different bank or lender for student loans.
  • Citibank – Interest rates tend to range anywhere from 3.125 to 9.375 percent.

The other benefit that comes with federal student loans interest rates are that they are fixed on both Perkins Loans as well as PLUS Loans, which means they are not variable, or do not change throughout the life of your repayment term. Applying for federal student loans means that you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you will also find out if you qualify for federal loan programs which can help with your tuition as well. As with private loans, there rates are always variable meaning they can change anytime. Federal loans also have more lenient repayment terms, allowing one up to 25 years to pay off their loan debt, whereas private lenders usually give one up to 12 years.

Private student loans should be used to cover the cost of your entire tution minus whatever else you are receiving in the form of both federal loans and any other financial aid. Private loans can come with lower student loan interest rates in the event that one either has excellent credit or finds a co-signer that does, which private loan lenders low applicants that have credit scores higher than 750. It is also suggested that you apply with great credit as low credit applicants can find themselves with interest rates that are up to 6 % higher than great credit applicants.

 

Can One Lower Their Student Loan Interest Rates?

Being that when you go to apply for a student loan, you will need to sign a promissory note which is a statement one signs which they are promising that they will repay their debt as well as the interest under the terms that were agreed upon. Due to this fact, student loan interest rates can’t necessarily be decreased through the lender, but the possiblity for dropping your student loan interest rate can be done through consolidation, which can be an great option to consider when you have multiple student loans. The process of student loan consolidation can drop interest rates because the loan repayment term will be extended resulting in one having to pay more in interest, but if you can find a consolidation company that doesn’t have any repayment fees, meaning they don’t charge a fee to pay off your debt early, you can enjoy lower interest rates and pay your debt off faster when you have the funds to do so.

 

New Mexico Student Loans

November 21, 2011

New Mexico Student Loans

New Mexico Student Loans

New Mexico student loans, or NM student loans as they are also known is an organization that functions off purely non profit efforts and was founded in 1981 by the New Mexico State Legislature and are considered as one of the main driving forces in providing opportunity for advancement in education in the state of New Mexico.

Other New Mexico Student Loans Services

Their “ONE CLICK” section is where you can get access to:

  • Your Account
  • Repayment Calculator
  • Student Loan Forms
  • FAFSA Forms
  • Contact New Mexico Student Loans
  • Site Map
The Student Loan Forms as well as FAFSA Forms section is where you will begin your application process for federal student loans.

Below are the various subsections that the New Mexico Student Loans “Money For College” link offers in their website that are all dedicated to either helping you learn about loans for college as well as getting the money you need to fund your education.

NEED MONEY FOR COLLEGE

  • The Financial Aid Process – This section is for individuals to learn the exact steps to getting financial aid through federal student loans, which involves filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Financial Aid Programs – This New Mexico Student Loans section details the different forms that student aid can come in, which include some of the following; scholarships, work study, federal loan programs, the New Mexico College Affordability Grant among others.
  • What Does That Mean? – This is a cool section where you can learn about all the terms that are used when speaking about loans, which all have definitions, like; student loan default, adjusted gross income, student loan deferment, student loan delinquency, forbearance, grace period and more.
  • Commonly Asked Questions – The most commonly asked questions about getting student loans.
SCHOLARSHIPS
  • The Scholarship Process – Exactly how to go about getting scholarships as well as their benefits, as well as application deadlines and more.
  • Lottery Scholarship – Details on the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship which are scholarships that are offered to those who have either graduated high school or have a GED and intend on enrolling in a public college in New Mexico, as well as the eligibility requirements and more.
  • Scholarship Search Sites – Links to different sites, both local and national programs that offers scholarships to students.
GOING TO COLLEGE?
  • Planning For College  - This part of the New Mexico Student Loans Site offers information on the guidelines you must follow that will help you get into college, like tests you must take, test prep courses, choosing a college to attend and more.
  • College Planning Timeline – Timeline list that students should follow that provides an itinerary of what they should be doing each month that will get them closer to their goal of getting into college.
  • Resources – Various links are provided all of which take you to different private and public educational institutions in New Mexico, as well as sites on savings plans for college, admissions and standardized tests, career guidance and more.
THINKING ABOUT A STUDENT LOAN?
  • Be Smart About Your Loans – This New Mexico Student Loans page is dedicated to providing your with tips to follow when thinking about taking out a student loan.
  • Perkins Loan Information – Here you can learn all the updated information on one of the most popular federal student loan programs around, the Federal Perkins Loan.
  • Commonly Asked Questions – Here individuals can learn about most commonly asked questions on student loan repayment.
Among the above New Mexico Student Loan services, you can also attain information on loan repayment, interest rates, tips on how to pay off debt it you are having trouble, as well as tax benefits you can take advantage of and more in their “Borrowers” section.

 

There are currently 91 learning institutions that offer student aid in the form of both federal and private loans in New Mexico, which consist of universities, vocational schools, community colleges, military institutes, beauty schools and more. If you would like to check if the school you are wishing to attend is one the list of those eligible for student aid, you can visit this link: New Mexico Student Loans

Forbearance On Student Loans – How One Qualifies

November 19, 2011

Forbearance On Student Loans

forbearance on student loans

The act of forbearance on student loans is essentially when you get to postpone or lower your loan payments for either a small amout of time to up to a year or more, if you fit certain requirements, which mostly have to do with the individual encountering financial hardship. During this time, it is likely that one will receive notifications that they must pay interest on their loans only, or let it accrue, or in other words pile up, which if one chooses to allow the interest to accrue, the funds will be capitalized. Student loan forbearance is applicable on both federal as well as private student loans, if you meet certain criteria which is discused directly below.

Requirements For Forbearance On Student Loans

Depending on your lender and other encompassing factors, requirements needed to qualify for forbearance vary, but below are some of main aspects in individual must meet in order to qualify for student loan forbearance.

  • Loan Forgiveness Programs – If you are participating in a program that has you working a job in a low income area, like the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. This is applicable to student loan forbearance, as often times these jobs will come with lower salaries.
  • In school – If you are enrolled in school or residency in a schedule that is half time or more, you qualify forbearance on student loans.
  • Financial Burden – If the individual applying for student loan forbearance have student loan payments that are equivalent or higher than 20 percent of their monthly income, they can qualify.
  • Community Service – If you are serving in community service programs, like VISTA, Peace Corps or Americorps, the opportunity for loan forbearance on student loans is possible.
  • Unemployment – If you lose your job and are actively searching for another one.
  • Partially Disabled – If one becomes disabled for a certain amount of time, but is not permanent, and results in them not being abe to work for an extended period of time.
  • Serving – If you are serving in a national service position.
  • If a parent has taken out a loan, and their child is experience financial problems resulting in difficulty in paying off loan debt, parents can inquire through their lender about using forbearance for their situation.

The first thing to do if you are considering forbearance on student loans due to the fact that you are having trouble making your payments, is to contact your loan lender and discuss your situation, as often times they will help you so your debt payments can better suit your situation. Forbearance of student loans should be a last resort, and should be considered after using other alternatives like student loan deferment which can be used for situations like unemployment, financial problems as well when one reenrolls in school, or using the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan, which is a repayment method offered to those paying off federal loans, and allows one to pay 15 percent of their monthly income, where payments can be as low as 5 dollars per month.

If you have exausted all of the other options, forbearance on student loans can be used as a way to avoid things like defualt and delinquency, which all will have negative effects on your credit score among other things.

The Average Student Loan Debt & How To Get Out of It

November 18, 2011

Average Student Loan Debt

Average Student Loan Debt

As of 2011, the average student loan debt that seniors are looking at paying after they graduate is at an average of $25,250 which is higher than it has ever been, with debt averages that range anywhere from as low as $900 to higher than $55,000. New Hampshire holds the title of the state with the highest average debt, currently sitting a staggering $31,050 and the lowest debt average is in the state of Utah which has a median of $15,500 The average debt students incur is getting higher, due to many reasons, some which include sky rocketing tuition costs with some schools charging upwards of $40,000 per year, switching majors forcing more years in school among others. This debt is said to be from about 80 percent coming from federal loans and around 20 percent coming from private loans.

This average student loan debt for students can be dropped a little by applying for federal grant programs like the Pell Grant or the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) among many others, through filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year, but regardless, debt can accumulate fast throughout the 4 or more years of schooling. Considering this, you will need a game plan on how to knock out your debt as soon as you get out of college, which we have below for you are multiple different methods that you can utilize to knock your debt out fast.

  •  Save For Retirement – This may sound odd and absurd, but saving for retirement will provide you with tax deductions, which you can use the money in deductions toward your student loans. You can either enjoy watching your retirement funds stack up, or later on use them to get out of the average student loan debt pit. To start, you can enroll in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
  • Student Loan Forgiveness – There are many great student loan forgiveness options that you can use. The two main types are working a public service job, which usually takes a commitment of working 10 years as well as 10 years of on time payment, which at the end of your repayment term the rest of your debt is wiped away, which is a great option for those with very high debt totals. The other most popular option is providing community service for organizations like Peace Corps and Americorps as well as VISTA, who will either pay a percentage of your loans off for each year of service or provide you with a lump sum each year of service which you can use towards getting out of the average student loan debt hole.
  • Pay Higher Than The Minimum – The minimum payment is set to keep you in debt for the longest time possible. If there are no repayment penalties, then do whatever you have to do to pay a higher payment than the monthly minimum as this will both save you money in interest you would have paid as well as get you out of debt faster.
  • Keep Living Like A Student – Be as frugal as possible, but in moderation. Live like you did in college but don’t forget to splurge a little.
  • Budget & Calculators – Another way get out of student loan debt is to budget exactly what you are spending and take out things that you don’t really need. You can also use repayment calculators to check how much you will save if you up the monthly payments with the funds you saved from cutting out the non essentials.
  • Employer Negotiation – Two options for this average student loan debt payoff category, one being you can try to negotiate a higher job salary, even a couple thousand dollars more a year than what they would originally offer, which you can drop on your loan debt. Two, you can try talking to your employer about them paying off some of your loan debt by agreeing to stay with them for a certain amount of time, or hitting certain numbers, etc.
  • Income Based Repayment – If you happen to be struggling with paying off your debt, it isn’t a get out of debt quick method, but can help you get of the student loan debt average. The Income Based Repayment (IBR) repayment option on federal student loans allow you to pay what is usually 15 percent of your monthly income to your debt, and can be as low as 5 dollars per month. There is also no repayment penalties on this repayment option, meaning that if you can afford to pay more later, you can do so without being hit with fees.

If you happen to still be in college while reading this average student loan debt article, it could be a great idea to get a job either part time or full time to help cover your expenses, which may be stressful, but you can consider taking a lighter load, which may result in a little more time in college, but a lot less to pay when you get out. You can also consider a work study job which are on campus jobs that help lower your cost of tuition. You can find out more by visiting your campuses main office. You can also consider putting a little bit of money towards your student loan debt while your are in school, like $100 per month or more if possible.