Paying Off Student Loans in Different Ways

If you don’t have the money to pay off your college student loans you can do volunteer work in exchange through loan forgiveness programs.

At finaid.org/loans/forgiveness.phtml you will find a directory of organizations who will work with you.

Under certain circumstances the federal government will cancel all or part of an educational loan.

To find out whether you qualify to do volunteer work or teach or practice medicine in certain types of communities in exchange for paying off your loans, speak to your human resources office at your job also.

For instance with AmeriCorps you can serve 12 months and receive up to $7,400 in stipends plus $4,725 to be used toward your loan.

You can volunteer with the Peace Corps and apply for deferment of Stafford, Perkins, and consolidation loans and partial cancellation of Perkins.

At Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) you may be eligible for their student loan repayment program which offers up to $10,000.

Students who become full-time teachers in an elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families can have a portion of their Perkins Loan forgiven under the National Defense Education Act. Students who majored in education and teach in Mississippi for the William Winter Teacher Scholar Loan.

The American Federation of Teachers maintains a list of other loan forgiveness programs for teachers.

Many law schools forgive the loans of students who serve in public interest or non-profit positions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers loan forgiveness programs through the National Health Service Corps and the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. The U.S. National Institutes of Health’s NIH Loan Repayment Programs repays up to $35,000 a year for U.S. citizens who are conducting clinical medical research.

If you’re a California resident, contact the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Many hospitals and private healthcare facilities use loan forgiveness to recruit occupational and physical therapists.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities in school,” said Teresa Bujacich, a naturopath and acupuncturist.

“I got a job with the intention of going to school but I couldn’t afford to go to school without working and I couldn’t work at a job and survive economically working part-time,” said Clint Cantu, 27. “I never in my worse nightmares thought that at 27 I would be living at my parents’ house.”

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