Escape from Student Loans! 8 Creative Ways to Ditch Your Debt

Student LoansEverybody knows there's a student loan crisis brewing, but what the solution to it might be is far from clear. It's not that there aren't a lot of ideas -- groups like FixUC have come up with viable plans, and the federal government is considering policy changes that could make student loan debt easier to bear. But for those who are nearing graduation or are already trying to service their debt, even the best of these solutions will arrive too late.

Maura Kastberg, executive director of services for RSC, a college prep company, suggests that college graduates need to face up to their loan problems sooner rather than later. "When you get out of school, the first thing to do is look at your loans," she emphasizes. "You should ask yourself what kind you have, how much you owe, and to whom you owe it."

Depending upon which types of loans students have, their repayment options can vary greatly, Kastberg notes, and one common method students use to deal with those debts can actually open the door to bigger problems. "When they graduate, many students immediately consolidate their loans," she notes. "While this can simplify things, it also can close off many loan forgiveness options."

Kastberg advises students to continue to maintain their frugal college lifestyles for awhile, even after graduation. Living on the cheap and saving that new adult paycheck can pay great dividends: the money you'll save can contribute to paying off those loans.

Taking that idea a step further, we've compiled a list of jobs that specifically give a bonus to college loan repayment. While moving to Tanzania or joining the military might not be at the top of your agenda, it's worth noting that spending a few years in some of these low-paying, service-related jobs will give you more than a valuable entry on your resume -- it might even leave you with the economic freedom to pursue the future you desire.

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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September 18 2013 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Consolidating student loans helps. Also, pay more than the min due whenever and wherever you can.

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July 05 2013 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Universities should be held accountable if degreed students can't find a job. 1% rebate for every month that a student can not find a job in their area of study. This would results in a massive realingment of what types of degrees are issued. Many (majority?) know full well that they are talking tuition for degress that will not help graduates get a job.

This is actual worse than what the mortgage companies did to borrowers. At least with a mortgage you "owned" a house and land. After paying tuitons many students have a degree worth about a penny in paper. Were are any of the politicians on this issue/scam??????

Universities (Nonprofit and for Profit) should restrict admission to those areas of study that there know jobs are not available and expand those areas were jobs are avaiable. Unlimited slots for media and history degrees but restricted for most engineering degrees.

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June 18 2012 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about we forget about "loan forgiveness" and folks start using the strange concept of paying back money they owe?? Interesting eh??

June 14 2012 at 8:15 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

What a useless article.

June 14 2012 at 7:50 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply