Student Loans, Then Loan Forgiveness


The Key to SuccessIf you are planning to take out one or more student loans to pay for your college education, you may find the thought of carrying thousands of dollars of debt post graduation as an uncomfortable decision. After all, you want to get the education you need to get into the career you want, but paying off loans for many years thereafter can have an unsettling effect on your psyche.
But there are some things to keep in mind when borrowing money to pay for school:

  • Come graduation, you still have some time before you must make your first loan payment, a grace period of six to twelve months usually.
  • During the grace period, you can pursue student loan consolidation by combining your loans to one payment with improved terms and a lower interest rate.
  • By the time you make your first payment, you should already have been working at your new job for several months. By then, you’ll get a feel for your student loan debt and come up with a way to pay down your debt faster.

No, what I’m saying isn’t meant to make light of a financial burden, rather to underscore that further out you’ll have a better grasp of what you owe and how you can reduce and pay down your debt. But, if you are still uncomfortable with the prospect of paying off your college debt, know this: there are quite a few loan forgiveness options available to you, choices which can eliminate part if not all of your financial obligation.

Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Loan forgiveness is achievable under certain circumstances and through specific programs including:

Peace Corps — Maybe you’re not ready to start a career, preferring to take some time off to help other people, to see the world. The Peace Corps has been helping people do just that for many decades. For every year that you serve, you can get a partial dismissal of your student loan balance, with as much as 70% forgiven by the time you leave this service. Consider VISTA and AmeriCorps as other options to explore.

Military Service — If you have a desire to serve your country, then joining the military as an reservist before you attend school can pay off. The Army National Guard, for example, has a repayment program for student loans that will pay off up to $20,000 of your debt. Similar programs can be applied to other branches of the military and there are other programs available for select military personnel.

Teachers — Many states have their own programs to encourage grads to choose teaching. You may not have gone to school to become a teacher, but that shouldn’t stop you from entering this profession. Depending on the state and the program, a part of your loan could be repaid. Check with your local school district to find out what incentives are available to you.

Other options available to you involve the legal and medical professions where you agree to practice in areas of the country where there aren’t enough doctors or offer your legal services for free in exchange for loan forgiveness. Even some local and state governments provide relief, particularly if you agree to take a job in a high needs area.

Though student loan debt can have you worried, there are ways besides making big bucks on your job to pay off your financial obligations. In some cases you may have to pay a tax on the amount forgiven, so check with an accountant before choosing a particular program.

Adv. — Need money for college? Explore your financing options with today!


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Categories: Student Loans