You attended your classes, you passed your tests, and you finally graduated, only to find yourself up to your eyeballs in debt. The average new graduate will start out their professional lives between $20,000 to $30,000, with private school attendees facing far higher numbers.
Here are a couple of ways in which you, with a little luck and a whole lot of work ethic, can get those loans satisfied without any monetary contribution of your own.
1. Have your boss pay off your loans.
You’ve spent between four and eight years getting an education, so use the brains you’ve cultivated to negotiate your way out of debt as you begin your working life.
Don’t just accept the first offer you receive because you’re afraid it may the only one forthcoming. Actively seek positions with employers known for being good to their employees.
Many companies offer to take care of paying off the student loans of new hires in exchange for a specified number of years of service or in lieu of other perks they typically award their employees.
But, even when interviewing at those companies not offering this incentive, you can sometimes make such an offer part of the hiring terms. In the majority of job interviews, the question of salary is often answered by the amount of experience you bring to the table. Do your homework before you go.
Make a list of the individual talents, knowledge, and accomplishments you possess and what you want to receive in return for your experience.
Present your requests during your interview to help your prospective boss understand exactly what unique qualities you have to offer and why you’ll be able to benefit them in ways that more than counterbalance the satisfied debts.
Granted, this tip may be geared toward postgraduates with more advanced skill sets or specialization in sought-after fields, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
You may also consider offering to accept slightly less pay than the average interviewee would demand in exchange for your debts being satisfied. It sounds counterproductive, but consider the following:
You would have to pay on your loans, anyway, so you wouldn’t have had that money available for spending.
If the loans are paid off, you’ll save all of the interest that you would have had to pay over the life of the loans.
Most companies will only require a few years’ services in exchange for the payoff, at which time, you’ll be able to find a new, higher-paying position, debt-free and in possession of a new skill set.
2. Be on the lookout for government programs that will reward you for public service.
The public service industry is comprised of hardworking professionals and laborers with a variety of skills, dedicated toward making their communities, towns, and states better places to live.
Unfortunately, the pay scale for these workers does not presently reflect the good they are doing society, but the most local, state and national governmental bodies have implemented programs to reward those people interested in devoting their professional lives to public service.
A little research on the websites of these entities will turn up a wealth of work possibilities for you.
As a new attorney with close to $100,000.00 in student loan debt, I made the decision after leaving law school to work for a state agency in one of the poorest counties of my state, assisting indigent clients with legal issues
During my service, my loan payments were guaranteed not to exceed a specified percentage of my take-home pay each month.
After working with the agency for the required number of years, my loans were completely forgiven and I was able to make the decision to carry on with my public service or to obtain a job in the private sector, free of the worry of having to make that monthly payment.
You, too, can find ways to make your student loans disappear while making you a more marketable employee. Your education should work for you, not vice versa.