RuralIf you are one of millions in the boat of burdened by your student loan debts there are some things you probably don’t know about your payments. First, you are likely overpaying the monthly minimum. Second, you are more likely to find solutions outside of your lender. Last, you could get help with your payments from sources you never knew existed.

A Closer Look

The fact is that most people overpay their monthly minimums. While paying more than the minimum is a solid financial strategy to get you debt free faster, it can certainly pose a problem if financial hardship strikes. Your monthly loan payment is most likely calculated by a percentage of your total loan value. Did you know that you have the right to pay the minimum based on how much you earn, not how much you owe? It’s true. The Income Based Repayment program can adjust your monthly payment to one that is calculated by your earning, likely to lead to a reduction in what you have been paying.

In terms of student loan debt relief most lenders aren’t going to be forthcoming with solutions to help you. If negotiating directly with your lender has been fruitless look into companies or law firms that can help fight the battle for you. There are also government based programs that can help you lower your payment or even forgive a portion of your debt. One example is the forgiveness program for those working in public service, education, and nonprofit fields; who could qualify to have their loan forgiven after a few years of payment.

There are some unorthodox ways to alleviate your student loan debt burden. For one, you could live someplace deemed a “Rural Improvement Zone”. These are counties that essentially are struggling financially and population-wise. To help the county boost its demographics and revenue the state will give you money in exchange for you living there for a specified number of years. The State of Kansas, for example, will give you $15,000 towards your student loans just for living there for five uninterrupted years. While this may not be on your bucket list of places to live, it is certainly a idea worth looking into in your neck of the woods.

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