Finding Grants to Pay off Student Loans
College is expensive. The debt ceiling for student debt in the US has reached the 1.4 trillion dollar mark, and it is rising with each new day. While parents used to save up for their children’s education in former years, the rising costs of living and stagnating incomes have made debt insurmountable and unavoidable. Students are looking for new ways to pay off their college expenses and debt, including scholarships, grants, and other low-interest loans. College grants and loans are really popular, although they rarely cover the entire cost of expenses. Students often wonder if there are any packages that help get student loans paid off.
Goverment grants loans are one of the ways in which students can clear off their existing debt, and these may be either federal or state funded. There are other independent organizations and charities that offer grants towards repayment of student debt, and these have their own specific criteria that they look for.
Are Student Grants And Loans Effective In Helping You Pay Off Student Debt?
If you are looking to pay back school loans grants are free money just waiting to be awarded if you do qualify. The problem with most students is they rush to pick up loans and credit cards instead of looking for scholarships or grants. If you’re overwhelmed with student debt, get grants, which are basically free money to pay off student loans.
Grants are an effective way to pay off massive student loan debt. With the average student debt at around $28000, and very little disposable income left to cover loan expenses, you should consider grants as a possible way to offset part of your debt:
Some grants that exist fall under the following categories:
- Organizational grants: Different organizations offer different rants for various purposes. You can volunteer for them for a certain period of time, and in exchange, you might be awarded a grant that may be channeled to offsetting your student loan. An example of some of these organizations include:
-The Peace Corps: may offer partial cancellation of Perkins Loans, the amount dependent on the number of years worked.
-AmeriCorps: They offer a $4725 grant if you work with them for 12 months, which goes towards offsetting your student loans.
-Vista: For voluntary service of 1700 hours, you get $4725 which goes towards paying off your student loans.
- The Military: The option with probably the highest loan repayment, each branch of the military has a maximum that can be repaid each year. Generally, you will get 15% of your loan amount paid off each year you serve in the military. The army and navy pay off a maximum $65000 while the Reserves pay off $20000. The Air Force pays off $10000.
The military also offers grants to students whose parents served and died in service, either in Afghanistan or Iraq, and students who are eligible may receive as much as $5400 to offset student loans, provided they were enrolled when their parents died in service.
- Professional and company grants: Some companies may offer loan offset grants if you work with them for a certain number of years. Some professions also offer special circumstance grants which may go towards paying off your loans. These include:
-Teaching; certain schools which serve certain special needs or minorities may provide grants to offset your Perkins loans depending on the period you work with them. Some may pay off 15% of your total student debt if you work with them for a year, then shift that up to 20% in the next year, and so on and so forth. While the job may be demanding, it is a sure way of clearing your student debt in the shortest time possible.
-Medical and nursing: Working in certain hardship areas may earn you as much as $170, 000 in loan forgiveness, while working as a nurse with certain non-profits may earn you up to 50% loan forgiveness, provided you clear a certain number of years with them. The Department of Agriculture may offer as much as $25000 if you work in certain areas for three or more years.
-Research; this is a great way to get your loan forgiven if you are willing to overlook the intensity of the work involved. For example, National Institute of Health offers as much as $35000 a year if you spend at least half of your working time on their related projects.
-Legal: The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program awards $10000 a year for up to 6 years to students who now serve as state prosecutors or public defender, and are in the role for at least 3 years.
Getting Programs That Help Pay Student Loans
There are numerous other federal grants and loans that may help you to offset your student debt, and these include:
- Pennsylvania Primary Healthcare Loan Repayment Program
- North Dakota STEM Loan Repayment Grant
- National Institute Of Mental Health Loan Repayment Program
- Contraception And Infertility Research Loan Program
To get these grants, you obviously need to do grant writing, which usually troubles most people. The other challenge with grant loans is that they are only limited to certain fields. There are scholarships for graduates to pay off student loans but these are predominantly in research and medical fields.
Grants Are Alternative Ways to Pay off Student Loans
“If I don’t qualify for a grant, what else can help me pay my student loans off?” Consider options like Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-based repayment, debt refinancing, and consolidation. If you need help repaying student loans, the first step is to check the interest, the remaining principal, the remaining time and most importantly, your income. Consult with your loan provider so that you don’t fall off your payments and you don’t go into default. Grants are great ways to solve the debt problem, but unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for them.
If you need help on how to get help with student loans, spend a few minutes each day consulting the internet, and you may be lucky to chance on something that works for you.