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How to Eliminate College Loan Debt
Consolidate all of your student loans into one loan repayment plan
If you’re like me, or the hundreds of thousands of others that took out student loans to finance college, you probably have multiple loans out and possibly from several different lenders. It happens to all of us because we think we are doing the right thing by shopping around for the best rates. At the end of each semester, we apply for a deferment to postpone the repayment of our loans and then an entirely new loan is drawn up. By the end of a four year college education, it is common for students to have initiated 8 or more student loan contracts, each with its own set of repayment schedules.
Having multiple loans with multiple repayment schedules makes it very easy to fall behind and even bring the loans into default. If you have all your loans with the same lender then ask your lender to consolidate them into one loan. If they are with multiple lenders or have fallen into default then contact the Department of Education for options to consolidate and bring your loans out of default. It does not matter how long you have been in default or your income status, the Department of Ed will have an option for you and can get your loans consolidated and back on track to a healthy financial future.
Places to get help with college loan consolidation
- Direct Consolidation Loans - Welcome!!!
The Direct Consolidation Loans Web Site-this U.S. Department of Education web site provides information to borrowers, schools, and loan holders. Borrowers can apply online for consolidation of their federally insured student loan debt. The Higher Edu
- FinAid! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans
FinAid, The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid, is the most comprehensive free resource for objective and unbiased information, advice and tools about student financial aid, college scholarships and education loans.
Get on an income contingent plan.
If your student loans have already been consolidated or you only have 1 or 2 instruments to repay, and your income has reduced to a point where it’s getting tough to make the payments, it’s a common mistake to request forbearance and again postpone your payments. A problem with forbearance is that the interest keeps growing and adding to the back of your loan balance. A better solution would be to apply for an income contingent repayment plan. The Department of Education can get you pointed in the right direction again. Some plans can be pretty lengthy but in the end your obligations will be met and your credit worthiness restored.
Places to Volunteer
- Peace Corps
Peace Corps Volunteers travel overseas to make real differences in the lives of real people. Apply online to Volunteer, find a local recruiting event, donate to a Volunteer project, or access teacher and student resources.
Since 1993, more than 540,000 Americans have served in AmeriCorps. Most AmeriCorps members are selected by and serve with local and national organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Boys and G
Volunteer for Student Loan Forgiveness.
There are many opportunities for service minded individuals to have a portion, or all, of their student loans forgiven. Volunteering for service with AmeriCorp, the PeaceCorp, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and even the US Military is one option to get a good portion of your student loans forgiven.
You can get paid to be a teacher and have up to 80% of your student loans forgiven if you are willing to teach in disadvantaged areas for a certain amount of time. Also, if you have become 100% disabled and can document it through a licensed physician; you may also qualify for a federal program that will forgive your student loan obligations.
Increase your employment or level of income.
You’re probably thinking, “this guy is crazy, how can I increase my income in this economy?” If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was crazy too. But the simple fact is, you can increase your income without even leaving your home. There are tons of opportunities to build or increase an income using online methods. Here are some suggestions:
- · Become an online marketer. You can create websites and offer to sell your own products or become an affiliate and market other peoples products for a commission. Some affiliate marketers are earning thousand’s, and even tens of thousand’s of dollars each month. These are seasoned pros and know the ins and outs of SEO and affiliate marketing. As a beginner in the affiliate game, with the right instruction, in just a few months you can be earning a few dollars each day, 365 days a year.
- · Start a blog. By now you have heard that everyone and their grandmother has a blog. Most blogs are written like diaries or daily journals with no intention of earning any money. Blogs are a massive opportunity to earn some real money. I’ve written a series on how to start a blog which teaches you how to pick a topic, how to get the blog started and how to monetize the blog.
- · Become a member of this site and start writing articles on just about anything you like. How to articles, product reviews, recipes, etc. By writing articles here on Hubpages.com you can earn money through Google Adsense, Amazon and Ebay affiliates, and just about any affiliate program that is available, so long as they abide by this sites TOS. Click here and join the Hubpages.com community and start earning some money.
Each of these ideas on their own can start bringing you some extra cash each and every month. The amount of cash all depends on the effort you put into it. These are called multiple streams of income and a few dollars here and there add up to a whole lot of dollars!
Just think, if you took my advice in my series above on how to start a blog, you could have a site up and running and earning a conservative $3 a day within a few months, that’s an extra $90 a month, but why stop there? Follow my steps in that series and for around a $30 investment you can have 10 websites up and earning the same amount (as long as you put in the same effort.) Now you’re up to an extra $900 a month. Do you think you can pay back some college loan debt with that?