Delinquency and default on student loans is on the rise and is at its highest rate in two decades. If you are struggling with your payments, you don’t want your loans to get this behind. But if you’ve got significant debts from your schooling, you may need to take some drastic measures to unload your debt. Here are five out of the box ideas to eradicate your student loans once and for all!
#1 Go International One interesting notion to take on your debt without going hungry (or crazy) is to look for a job outside of the US. Jobs teaching English or any job in a foreign country can help you tackle your debt rapidly. Why? First, many jobs that invite Americans to come to another country will include housing or a housing allowance. Second, money you earn out of the country is income tax and FICA free up to a high limit. The money you save on taxes alone can enable you to dig deep into your debt, but if you’re also saving on housing and living expenses, you can devote a big chunk of your pay to your loans while living somewhere exotic and interesting.
#2 Get Crazy Cheap We reviewed Ken Ilgunas’ book about how he toiled at minimum wage jobs and lived in a van to ditch his debts. While many couldn’t deal with the extremes he went to, you can still get radical with austerity. Ditch going out and stick with Netflix and generic beer indulged in at home. Shop thrift stores for your duds. Car pool or take the bus to save on gas and car insurance. Clip coupons. Learn to embrace Great Clips. Cut your cable and get a digital antenna and a Hulu account. Bundle up in sweats and sock and turn off the heat in the winter. Buy a window fan and run around in your shorts in the summer to eliminate the costs of A/C. Get creatively cheap and ditch your debt ASAP!
#3 Rent Out Your Car or Drive Folks Around If you’ve got a car that you can do without regularly (or even occasionally), consider signing up for RelayRides and let strangers rent your vehicle. The service offers a barrier between renter and owner to protect your privacy, handles the payment process, charges a retainer to protect against damages and offers additional insurance coverage to protect you. If you don’t want to let someone else drive your car, you can rent you and your car out as a private taxi service through Lyft.com. Sign up with Lyft, slap a pink mustache on your hood and get ready to make as much as $35 per hour taxiing strangers around. That can make a dent in your debt!
#4 Ask for a Warm Hands Inheritance If you know you’re grandma has set up a $10,000 bequest for you in her will or that grandpa has a stack of stocks he’s set aside for you once he’s gone, consider asking for a warm hands inheritance so you can put it toward your student loans. It’s known as a warm hands gift as a play on the saying, “Pry it from my cold dead hands.” Sit down with any loved ones you know have you in their will and explain how your debt is impacting your life and holding you back and that you would be better off if they would apply the bequest to your debt now so that your financial future can be more stable and get on track sooner with less (or no) student debt!
#5 Sell Everything You Own Okay, so maybe not everything, but think about all the stuff you’ve accumulated and rarely use – skis, camping equipment and that mountain bike you ride once in a blue moon can go. If you need this gear later, borrow from a buddy or rent. If you live where there’s public transportation, sell your car and get a bus pass. Sell your DVDs and embrace streaming services. Unload your video game system and you’ll have money in your pocket and won’t be tempted to drop big bucks on new games. You’ll be amazed at what you can live without so you can ditch your debt.
The good news is Tuition.io can help you get your debt under control and we do it for gratis! Sign up for our free student loan management tool to track and optimize your debt. Read our blog for news and tips on dealing with your loans and check out our student loan help center for How To guides on enrolling in alternate repayment plans and other great information!