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How to Eliminate College Loan Debt

Updated on October 15, 2015
How am I going to pay back my college loan debt?
How am I going to pay back my 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.

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.

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 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 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?

Is college loan debt a priority for you?

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of college loan debt


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    • veronicaadams profile image

      Veronica Adams 2 years ago from Mobile,AL

      I have student loans and doing the best I can. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Jalus 7 years ago

      These are great ideas. It's tough when you graduate with a lot of debt. It can seem like you will never pay it off. Thanks for sharing!

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 7 years ago from Charleston, SC

      MMP I hope you have introduced your son to Hubpages. Sure it's a lot of work but if he writes so marketing type product hubs over the course of the next 2 years they could be earning enough to pay back any college loan payments he may acquire. It takes time for hubs to fully mature but when they do they take off like crazy.

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile image

      MyMastiffPuppies 7 years ago

      This is some really good info Richard! We have been moving our son to college this week.He attended a community college and lived at home the first couple of yrs but now the really debt starts. And you are right, they do not teach this in school, I think it would be a great course to add.

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 8 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Thanks for the comment Rick. Some things they just don't teach you in school, but that's not the only reason students get over their heads in debt. They still have idealistic goals and think that as soon as college is over they'll be making plenty of money to repay student loans.

      Students that work their way through college are the ones that seem to have realistic goals. A job after college hasn't been a guarantee for a very long time.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 8 years ago from England

      Hi, great hub. I worte similar hub because I noticed that it can be really difficult going from college/university to having a job and not knowing how to handle money.

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 8 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my hub.

    • Unique Kids Stuff profile image

      Unique Kids Stuff 8 years ago

      Great information and great hub.