How To Pay Off Student Loans Fast

by A Guest Author

How to pay off student loans fastLife sometimes has a certain rhythm to it once you turn six years old: school, school, school, graduation, university, graduation and then: student loans.

If you follow this path, as many do, the beat goes on and on, and often what keeps time is the dreaded monthly student loan payment reminder that pops up in your mailbox or inbox to make sure you fork over X amount of dollars without fail. It was easy to spend that loan, wasn’t it?

Most people spend their student loans for community college or university on:

  • Community College Tuition (or University)
  • Cheap textbooks from Amazon
  • Student activity fees
  • Late-night pizza runs
  • The newest macbook
  • Some jeans from the mall
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment
  • A Sam Adams six pack now and then...

Yes, it’s hard to believe that in just four years so much money slipped through your fingers between community college student loans, university loans and if you’ve gone to graduate school, too, then you can probably go ahead and tack on an extra $18,000+ to the initial debt.

Paying Off Student Loans

Unless you’re lucky enough to come from a family of serious means, chances are good that the monthly student loan payment puts a serious damper on your expenditure.

You work and work and even if your payments are upwards of $400 at a time, it can feel like you’re only chipping away shavings from an enormous mountain.

If you think there has to be a better and faster way, you’re absolutely right – there are a number of solutions, some bigger, some smaller, but all of which think outside the traditional box and aim to help you pay down that pesky debt.

Unexpected Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans

Ask Your Boss!

Well, don’t just march into your boss’s office and say “Hey, do we have an extra $50,000 lying around I could have?” But if you work for a midsize-to-larger company and you’re up for a salary review, consider asking the review committee if they would consider a smaller raise in return for a one-time payout toward your student loan. (The same goes for job interviewees; ask the prospective employer if they will consider a smaller starting salary for the same aforementioned deal.)

This works well for both parties because it saves the company money in the long run and also puts a nice dent in your debt; or, depending on how large your loan was, it could pay it off altogether.

Become a Public Servant

If you’re not sure what you want to do or if you’re thinking about leaving a current job, and you know you like helping others, consider work as a public servant, in education, law enforcement, government, public safety or public health, just to name a few.

If you got a degree such as masters of public administration online that’s nearly a guaranteed shoo-in to your public sector of choice. Not only are you working for the greater good of the community, your federal direct loan or income-based repayment (IBR) plan will be forgiven after 10 years.

Consider doing your job search in the D.C. area, too: the federal government needs employees and can use loan repayment as part of their lure.

Find Micro-donors

Micro-donation sites like microgiving.com allow you to sign up, create a profile stating your need and then invite people – relatives, friends or even strangers – to donate money toward your goal.

While sites like this don’t bring in tons of cash, every little bit help, and you might be surprised at the sudden generosity of an aunt or uncle who suddenly feels guilty they never congratulated you for graduating from college summa cum laude.

SmarterBucks

Register for a debit card through SmarterBucks and find that for your first $100 spent (for purchases where you don’t enter your PIN) you’ll get 0.5 percent of the total; afterward, look forward to another one percent for each additional hundred spent. For example, if you spend $600, you’ll receive $5.50: 50 cents for the first $100 and $5.00 for the other $500. While it’s not the fastest way to pay down your loans, you don’t lose anything by it and you don’t have to put forth any special effort to get the money.

Move to a City in Need

Recently Niagara Falls, NY offered $7,000 toward loan debt over two years to young professionals willing to move to the city. The response has been enthusiastic, with over 200 emails from young adults all over the country.

Keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities like this: cities struggling with a population decline, in need of your fresh, revitalizing business ideas and willing to pay you to bring them.

About the Author

Randall Henderson is a contributing writer who is working towards his master of science in management online.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ann January 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I really like it whenever people come together and share ideas.
Great site, keep it up!

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