How to Pay off Your Student Loans| Free Guide

How to Pay off Your Student Loans
How to Pay off Your Student Loans

Student loan forgiveness: Qualifying for student loan forgiveness is one of the easiest ways to repay your student debt as fast as possible.

Honestly, you may be able to have your student loan balance erased if you work for a particular period of time in a job that offers student loan forgiveness.

While student loan forgiveness employment isn’t necessarily the highest-paying, there are frequently plenty of openings due to a labor shortage. And, after a few years, you may be able to recoup your lost income through loan forgiveness.

How To Get Your Student Loans Forgiven

Getting your student loan forgiven can be done in three different ways. Though student loan forgiveness has to gain more attention in recent times than usual, it has been a popular topic for over 20 years and 45 million people still owe over $ 1.7 trillion.

That could change if Biden and Congress compromise on how much to cancel and qualifying requirements.

That being said, two of the steps that will be mentioned here are for federal student loans while one is for private student loans.

#1. Apply for jobs that serve the public good:

The first path through which student loans can be forgiven is by getting a job that will serve the public.

If you’re a teacher, police officer, firefighter, social worker, healthcare worker, or government official who has made payments for 10 consecutive years, you’re in good luck. If you are a sign spinner or pet psychic, forget it.

#2. Get a Payment plan that is based on your income:

Option No. 2 is through a repayment plan that is based on your income. You will still have to pay a large chunk of your debt over a long period, but under the current laws, a portion will be forgiven at the end.

Those options are available for federal student loans.

#3. Apply for a Discharge

The final option is applying for a discharge. This path is available for federal or private loans, but you probably don’t want to go there.

A discharge is when you can’t repay the loan for a variety of reasons, like death, disability, fraud, identity theft, or bankruptcy.

How Did COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Student Loans?

Student loan borrowers were among the first to receive relief as the COVID-19 crisis crippled the U.S. economy in 2020.

On March 13, 2020, by order of President Donald Trump, the Federal Student Aid Office suspended monthly loan payments, stopped collecting overdue loans, and lowered the interest rate to 0% on Direct, FFEL, Federal Perkins, and HEAL loans from the Department of Education.

A week later, Congress passed the CARES Act, which put all of these provisions into law by September 30, 2020. The provisions have been renewed four times and will remain in force until January 31, 2022.

What that means to borrowers is:

  • All student loans are in administrative forbearance, meaning you can defer payments without suffering a financial penalty.
  • Interest rates on federal student loans are set at 0%, meaning your balance won’t increase if you don’t make payments. Any payments you do make are immediately applied to reducing your principal. That means you should pay off your loan faster and the total cost will be far less.
  • Federal loan servicers were ordered to report monthly payments as being made to the three credit reporting bureaus, even if you accepted forbearance and chose not to make any payments. This means no negative marks on your credit report for non-payment during this period.
  • Suspended payments count toward the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs. If you are enrolled in the PSLF program, you will receive credit for a payment each month, even if you chose not to make one.

Volunteer for student loan Forgiveness

To get this done, you must work with an organization that offers student loan forgiveness. However, you must first ensure that your job qualifies for loan forgiveness. Here are a few examples:

#1. SponsorChange

SponsorChange connects nonprofits with people who want to volunteer, and in exchange for their time, these volunteers are assisted in repaying their student loans.

They have offices in Pittsburgh and Chicago and are based in Washington, D.C. “We empower volunteers by offering a pathway to meaningful skill-based project opportunities at social impact organizations while also assisting volunteers in raising funds to pay down their student loan debt,” according to their mission statement.

Anyone presently enrolled in school or who has graduated with student loan debt is eligible to work with SponsorChange. Basically, this group aims to match volunteers with work that complements their mission statement.

In the organization, once a volunteer has received $200 in sponsorship, they can begin working. These volunteers could be compensated up to $1000 for each project. They will be working for roughly 40 to 50 hours over the course of three months on these projects.

Finally, after a volunteer has completed their responsibilities, the funds they require will be delivered directly to their student loan servicer.

#2. AmeriCorps NCCC, National, and State

The National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) of AmeriCorps is a full-time residential program that works on disaster relief, environmental projects, public safety, and youth development. Volunteers are allowed to serve for up to two terms but must take a ten-month vacation after each term before re-enrolling.

Local communities and a variety of charitable groups engage with AmeriCorps state and national programs. Volunteers can serve for up to 5 terms in this way.

Here, volunteers will receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after serving full-time for a year. This money can be used to pay off student loans or used towards further education.

However, direct federal and state loans, as well as those made under Titles VII and VIII of the Public Service Health Act, are all eligible for this assistance. Volunteers are eligible for a maximum of two awards.

This award is equal to the maximum Federal Pell Grant available for the year 2019, which is $6,095. Any interest earned throughout the volunteer time is also reimbursed. The only drawback is that the volunteer must pay taxes on the prize and the interest repaid. For the period of their service, the volunteer may find it beneficial to use income-driven payback.

#3. AmeriCorps VISTA

In order to reduce poverty, AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) collaborates with government agencies and charitable organizations. Volunteers must be willing to commit to working for at least a year and may serve for up to five years.

After 12 months of service, volunteers may be eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which is equivalent to state, national, and NCCC AmeriCorps programs. Another distinction is that they may accept the award in cash rather than as a direct loan payment.

For the duration of their service, participants must also enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. For the first two years, VISTA volunteers can get up to 15% of their Perkins loans canceled, and up to 20% of their Perkins loans can be canceled for the next two years.

How To Get Your Student Loans Forgiven
How To Get Your Student Loans Forgiven

#4. Teach For America

This is another volunteer for student loan forgiveness worth going for. This organization’s aim is to “enlist, develop, and mobilize as many of our nation’s most potential future leaders as possible to build and strengthen the movement for educational justice and excellence,” according to its website.

Basically, working as a teacher in this volunteer organization allows you to teach economically disadvantaged students in inner-city or rural settings.

Further, before you start their program, you must have earned an undergraduate degree from an approved college, have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, and be a US citizen, a legal permanent resident, or a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient.

Note, Teach for America jobs typically pay between $33,000 and $58,000 a year and come with a variety of perks. Teachers are also given on-the-job training, which will be valuable to them later in their employment. They can also contribute to PSLF.

TFA provides a “How to Join” portal for interested candidates.

#5. Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

This is another volunteer student loan forgiveness program that can relieve your debt burden. This program is basically for teachers with at least 5 years of teaching experience in a school for low-income learners. This program can take care of your direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and direct and federal consolidation loans.

Note, to apply for this program, you must be a full-time and highly qualified teacher for at least five consecutive years, at least one of which must have been after 1998.

And most be teaching in a low-income school. Further, you can submit the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application after completing five qualifying years of teaching.

#6. Peace Corps

The Peace Corps sends volunteering Americans to deal with issues that concern the wellbeing of the world at large.

PeaceCorps is mainly concerned with sustainable change at the grassroots level and making global citizens out of the people who volunteer to work with them.

Their projects involve causes for education, environmental advocacy, healthcare, and economic development.

Anyone who is 18 years or older may work with them. Peace Corps volunteers may pause the repayment of their federal student loans by deferment.

They may qualify for cancellation on their federal Perkins loans up to 15% for the first 2 years. For the next 2 years, they may avail a cancellation of 20% on the same.

Some of them are eligible for income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

#7. Harvest Fund for All

The concept of the Shared Harvest Fund is identical to that of SponsorChange. They do, however, require a monthly subscription fee. Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City are the locations of their bases.

However, they are based in a number of different places across the United States. Volunteers are paired with organizations that are a good fit for them.

Volunteers receive anywhere from $250 to $1,000 after completing a project, which is paid straight to their student loan servicer. For each nonprofit that is suggested, they will receive an additional $50.

#8. The National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps is part of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States.

Their goal is to provide health care to people who live in poverty, isolated, and underserved places. Professions in medicine, healthcare, dentistry, and other related fields

One of the following qualifications is required of the volunteers:

  • MD, DO, NP, CNM, PA are medical degrees.
  • DMD, DDS, RDH are dental degrees.
  • HSP, LCSW, PNS, MFT, LPC for behavioral health

Physicians must commit to the program for two years in order to receive up to $50,000 in loan reimbursement for their medical school education. This pledge must be made at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved area.

#9. Nurse Corps Loan Repayment

As a medical student, you can clear your student loan just by dedicating your life to caring for others. With nurse Corps loan repayment which is a federal loan repayment program specifically designed to help cover 85% of student loans for RNs and APRNs after working for 2-3 years. This program covers any government or private loans for tuition and living expenses incurred while studying nursing. Further, apply for this program requires you to be in the US. Citizen, US national, or lawful permanent resident.

#10. Social Service

Services for the poor. If you work full-time as a full-time provider of early intervention services for the disabled, a full-time nurse or medical technician, a full-time employee of an organization that provides assistance and services to low-income families, or a full-time corrections or law enforcement officer, your student loan may be forgiven entirely. Restrictions may apply (for example, those relating to the date your loan was made).

#11. Occupational or physical therapy education loan forgiveness

You should inquire about your employer’s student loan forgiveness program when applying for a position in the occupational/physical therapy industry. Because physical and occupational therapists are in such great demand, many private healthcare organizations and hospitals will offer to pay off some of your student loans if you agree to work for them for a set period of time.


Volunteering is a good option for folks who want to broaden their experience and skillset while simultaneously managing their student loan burden. Depending on your degree of happiness with your volunteer job, it could even lead to full-time employment.

So pick a program and get started!


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