Addressing Your Student Loan Debt

More than 40 million Americans have student loan debt. Of those borrowers, 5.6 million owe more than $50,000. That crushing five-figure debt can take a real financial and mental toll. Student loan debt is one of the most demanding forms of debt. Not only will it follow you for years, but even for decades. It can take you longer to repay your student loan debt than it can take you to buy a home. However, there are real solutions if you dream about running off to a foreign country so you won’t have to repay your student loans.

These are the eight (8) legal ways that you can address your student loan debt:


1. Serve your country

The military has loan repayment and forgiveness programs for borrowers who served in the military

Each branch has its own set of programs, so do your research and consider the branch that is best for you

2. Volunteer

AmeriCorps or Peace Corps offer loan forgiveness programs to help eliminate your student debt.

3. Pursue a career in public service.

Consider pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or PSLF.   This program requires you to work for a qualifying employer in the public service sector.

4. Enroll in an income-driven repayment

Federal student loan borrowers who are unable to afford their payments can apply for income-driven repayment

5. Apply for disability discharge.

No one wants to imagine the worst happening, but sometimes it does. The total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge program can help discharge your student loans if you become disabled. This program is available to most federal student loan borrowers, but not all types of loans qualify. To apply, you’ll need to fill out an application and provide documentation proving that you are totally and permanently disabled.

6. Identify loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs).

Loan repayment assistance programs are local programs designed to help get some or all of their student loans forgiven. In addition, many states are willing to help you pay off your student loans if you have specific skills that you can share.

7. Ask your employer.

If you don’t qualify for these federal programs, there are still ways to get your student loans partially paid for. One source could be your boss. “Employers are increasingly offering help with student loan repayment,” said Marquit. “This benefit doesn’t come with tax advantages, though. So if your employer puts money toward repayment, that will be reflected as income when you report to the IRS.”

8. Play a game.

Like Guidation, nearly everything has been gameified these days, including student loan repayment. Givling is a web-based game that rewards winners by paying off a portion of their student loan or mortgage debt.