Friday, November 07, 2014
How to Easily Pay Off Student Loan Debt
Fifty percent of Americans earns $50,000 or less and the dream of going to college has turned into a nightmare. The cost of college tuition increases higher than the yearly rate of inflation and less free money such as grants and scholarships are available for students wanting to go to college. As a result, students are forced to obtain student loans. Student loans are merely another form of predatory lending and the economy is suffering from it.
The default rate on most student loans is over 50% which affects college accreditations, affects the housing market - causes graduates who want to become homeowners to delay purchasing homes, prevents homeowners from upgrading to larger homes; causes couples to delay having children or achieving their financial goals; requires parents to provide financial support to children who move back home instead of focusing on planning for retirement and affects our reputation as a global economic leader.
One way to tackle student loan debt is to take advantage of student loan forgiveness programs. To be eligible for a student loan forgiveness program you must have made 120 separate monthly payments on time on Direct Loan Program loans. Employees that work in the following industries are eligible: public health, public education, public library services and school library or other school-based services, emergency management, social work, military service, public safety, law enforcement, public interest law services, public library sciences, early childhood education, public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, employees who work for a not–for-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3)organization or a private, not-for-profit organization.
The types of Loans eligible for student loan forgiveness are: Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans (Direct Subsidized Loans), Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans (Direct Unsubsidized Loans), Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans) for parents and graduate or professional students, Federal Direct Consolidation Loans (Direct Consolidation Loans). Here is a list of easy ways to pay off student loan debt using student loan forgiveness programs:
1. Volunteer in the ACTION program (including VISTA). Volunteers in Service to America call 1-800-942-2677 or 202-606-5000, americorps.gov/about/programs/vista.asp.
2. AmeriCorps call 1-800-942-2677, americorps.gov. Volunteers may apply for partial cancellation of Perkins Loans call 1-800-424-8580 or 202-692-1845, www.peacecorps.gov.
3. Pay as you earn. https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action.
4. The American Federation of Teachers maintains a list of other loan forgiveness programs for teachers, http://www.aft.org/funding-database/stafford-loan-forgiveness-program, http://www.aft.org/funding-database/perkins-loan-forgiveness.
5. Employees who serve in the legal industry contact Equal Justice Works www.equaljusticeworks.org/ 202-466-3686, The American Bar Association (ABA) www.americanbar.org also has a summary of Loan Repayment Assistance Programs.
6. National Institutes of Health's NIH Loan Repayment Programs www.lrp.nih.gov/ student loan debt for citizens who are conducting clinical medical research.
7. US Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp offers loan forgiveness.
8. Contact the American Physical Therapy Association www.apta.org/ 1-800-999-2782 or the American Occupational Therapy Association www.aota.org/ 301-652-2682.
9. Disadvantaged Health Professions Faculty Loan Repayment Program www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/repayment/faculty/
10. Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment/
11. American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) maintains a database of state and other loan repayment programs for medical school students http://services.aamc.org/fed_loan_pub.
12. US Department of Education Cancellation/Deferment Options for Teachers studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/teachercancel.jsp?tab=repaying and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Form https://www.myeddebt.com/borrower/PDFFrames.jsp?fileName=form.teacher.loan.forgiveness.pdf.
13. US Department of Education maintains a database of low-income schools eligible for teacher loan cancellation for Perkins and Stafford loans https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp.
14. The Federal Student Loan Repayment Program http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/student-loan-repayment/ allows federal agencies to make payments directly to the student loan holder.
15. Student Loans can be discharged or canceled http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation