15 Creative Ways To Pay Off Student Loans Faster Than Ever

Once you have graduated, the joy of having finally finished school will be suppressed by the fact that you need to start paying your student loans.

According to data released recently, over 44 million Americans collectively hold nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt.

Don’t worry, this guide will help you find creative ways that can help you begin to pay off your debts before you get too comfortable in your post-education freedom.

15 Crazy Easy Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans Faster Than Ever!

Student loans have no prepayment penalty, which means you can pay them off anytime. Why would you pay more money than you have to?

1. Make more than the minimum payment

The best way to pay your debt in five years or less is always to pay more than the minimum. Even if you do not have a stable job yet, an overpayment of as little as $10 could get you off debt faster. It shortens the term of the loan and the interests you have to pay.

2. Start paying while in school

You do not have to wait until you are done with school. If you can find some work with still studying, try paying your debt early. Your repayment period will be shorter. This is particularly helpful if you have unsubsidized loans that still charge interest even if you are in school.

3. Try renting your vehicle

If you have a car, you can make some extra cash by renting your vehicle to complete strangers. Companies like Turo let you do this and you can make some pretty good money doing so! You can charge whatever rate you want that will help you have some pocket money and still pay off your student loans faster than ever. It is a rewarding business and really clever side hustle.

4. Sell photos

Today, more and more people are looking for professional photographers. Some people are also willing to buy pictures of nature’s beauty online. You can take such pictures and sell them on photography stock websites. These fees may be small, but they add up.

5. Join mock juries

Unless you work in the courtroom, most people do not want to find themselves in the courtroom. However mock juries pay well, and they are fun to participate in. You can easily earn up to $200 per day.

6. Rent your friendship

Are you a fun person to be with? Well, there are websites where people are looking to pay for companionship. The best part is that you choose how much you want to charge per hour.

7. Try dog sitting

Pet sitting is a lucrative job today. People are looking for anyone to be their pet sitter. You are guaranteed to get a regular income to help pay off your student loans. You can even get paid for dog walking with companies like Rover.

8. Get paid to test apps

All the hours you spend playing video games can be worth it. You can now get paid to test apps and are paid around $10 per completed review. And it does add up.

9. Teach English

Do you know any foreign languages? If so, you can teach them to people who need to learn. Even better, you can teach English to people who want to come to the US and live here. You can easily sign up to become an English teacher at sites like VIPKid.

10. Be an online tutor

As a graduate, you have probably seen it all, essays, homework, assignments, dissertations, etc. if you are willing to teach and help other students improve their grades you can join this site and write my assignments in Canada.

11. Choose companies that offer graduate benefits

Some companies help you pay off your debts easily by offering some benefits that can help you pay off your debts. They will help you free up some time for other things.

12. Be a designer

Today, people love great graffiti on their clothes. If you have funny or inspiring quotes, you can buy t-shirts and print these messages on them. Sell them for a profit, and you can earn a lot.

13. Be a dating coach

Love is hard to find. Therefore people are willing to spend money to be helped to maintain their relationships.

14. Transcription

This is a great job that you can do at home. Most companies will pay you good money per hour of audio. It is a great way to earn some extra cash.

15. Be a clown

Clowns earn a good amount of money per hour to entertain children on special occasions. It is a great job because you do not need to have a resume to be one.

Up next:

12 Simple Ways to Make $20 Right Now

Need to make 20 dollars fast?

These are a few of the best ways to make extra money so that you can earn $20 fast online.

This is a list that will help you make extra cash without much effort.

I don’t know why you need an extra $20 dollars right, but heck we all could use an extra 20 bucks.

Ready to see the list of how to make 20 dollars fast?

Let’s get into it — here are the top ways to make 20 dollars fast in 2021.

12 Simple Ways to Get $20 Free Now

In case you wanted to get started with some quick wins — here are some legitimate websites that’ll pay you just for signing up:

Next, we’ll move on to other ways to earn your $20.00 quickly.

If you’re looking for a free way to make $20 using online tools and apps – here it is. There are a plethora of different mobile apps and websites that can net you $20 instantly.

1) Make $20 Fast Taking Surveys at Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie has over 11 million members and pays them for taking surveys, trying out new products, and listening to music.

Joining Survey Junkie in order to score $20 fast is a no-brainer! Once you join, simply stick to the higher-paying surveys so you can score $20 today.

You only need 1,000 points to cash out which you can accumulate in 30 minutes to an hour. Oh, and Survey Junkie has over 11,036 positive reviews on TrustPilot.

There are so many short-form and long-form surveys to choose from, and you can get paid through PayPal or gift cards.

How to make $20 fast? Signup for Survey Junkie, take high-paying surveys and earn $20 fast. You can also get a registration bonus here.

Earn Per Activity Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
$1 – $50 PayPal or Gift Cards $10  

SIGN UP

Survey Junkie is a great way to make $20 if you need it by today or tomorrow.

2) Collect a $10 Sign Up Bonus at Swagbucks

If you want another quick way to make $20 then give Swagbucks a shot. You’d be silly not too as the site has already paid out $441.9 million to its users.

Plus, you won’t be limited to only surveys with this rewards site — in fact, you can earn $20 fast simply by watching entertaining videos, searching the web, and even playing games. You earn ‘points’ that you can redeem for gift cards or for cash through PayPal.

They have an excellent rating on TrustPilot with over 14,144 reviews!

Simply sign up and score a $10 signup bonus then start watching videos or playing games and earn your other $10 to get your $20 fast today. Don’t believe me? A Huffington Post report says users are earning $600 per month with this site.

Earn Per Activity Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
$.50-$2 PayPal or Gift Cards $3  

SIGN UP

To chalk it up, Swagbucks is one fun way to score $20 fast today.

3) Get $20 Right Now at ZippyLoan

If you actually need money now, then you can opt for a personal loan. When you need money in a hurry ZippyLoan is where to go.

ZippyLoan offers you online personal loans in about 5 minutes on their completely secure website.

This website connects you to lenders which means that waiting times are minimized unlike at a bank. The money is usually deposited in your account the next day you apply for a loan.

You review the loan details and e-sign if you like what you see. No risk in checking what offers you’ll get. You can borrow between $20 and $15,000 as soon as tomorrow.

Loans service for up to 60 months.

ZippyLoan connects borrowers to lenders through their network of lenders. They’ll find you the lowest interest rate and is one of the best no credit check loan. You can visit ZippyLoan here.

GET CASH NOW

4) Download the Nielsen Mobile App and Collect $50

One of my favorite apps that not many people know about is Nielsen. If you have a cell phone or laptop then you can earn $50 fast right now. All you have to do is register for free (they’ll track your browser usage) and you’re set to earn $50 per year passively.

It’s really noninvasive, requires basically no storage, and won’t impact your device performance. After you installed the app, just use the internet as you usually would (but now you’re getting paid — cha-ching!).

Earning Potential Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
$50+ PayPal or Gift Cards None  

SIGN UP

Nielsen gives out $10,000 each month so you can win real money for about 60 seconds of work. A no brainer.

5) Make $20 Fast for Playing Games with Mistplay

We all heard the old saying “time is money” right?

Instead of playing games on your phone like everyone else and feeling bad for wasting your time — now you can get paid $20 fast for it.

Getting paid for playing games sounds like a dream. But if you download a free new app, and then download games from it and play, you earn money.

As you level up you can earn more money for cash rewards or gift cards.

This is a great opportunity for those looking to get paid for something they enjoy, like winning free gift cards and cash for playing games. I use it and it is legit and has over 131,404+ positive reviews in the Google Play store.

Earning Potential Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
$50 Per Month Visa Gift Card or Gift Cards 1,500 Points or $5  

SIGN UP

If you’re interested, I recommend you download the app from the Google Play store for free by clicking here.

6) Make $20 Fast Searching the Web with InboxDollars

InboxDollars is a market research company that’ll pay you $20 fast to search the web (using their search engine) instead of using Google or Bing. So if you search the web for a few days and other tasks like playing games, watching videos, or taking online polls — you can make extra money online.

While you won’t get rich — you can surely make $20 fast online by using the site or app.

Earning Potential Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
$0.15 for Every 29 Qualified Search Check or Gift Cards $30  

SIGN UP

Making 20 dollars fast is no longer a mystery with the help of InboxDollars, and signing up will net you a $5.00 instant bonus.

7) Earn $20 Fast Playing Solitaire Cube (iOS)

Would you be interested in competing in cash tournaments and head-to-head online (on your phone) to win your $20 fast but don’t know where to get started?

Solitaire Cube (iOS) can help you get your feet wet & if you’re already glued to your phone, why not earn some little side money.

Here, it is basically regular Solitaire but faster and you are playing against someone else for cash.

So it’s pretty legit — you will be matched up with people of your same skillset so it’s really fair. I deposited $10 the other day and I already won $125!

Earning Potential Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
Uncapped PayPal or Direct Deposit $0  

SIGN UP

I suggest downloading Solitaire Cube (iOS only) as it has a proven track record (over 55K positive reviews) for being a diverse approach for earning your $20 fast.

8) Use Gig Apps to Score Cash Fast

Gig economy workers are the real winners in the COVID-19 era, as the demand for food delivery is booming. If you wanted to cash in and earn over $20 each day — here are the best food delivery apps that pay the most:

  1. DoorDash: DoorDash is the #1 food delivery app to make money delivering food. You can earn on your bike or even by walking and make up to $20 an hour.
  2. Instacart: If you have a car then you can use it to deliver groceries with Instacart. Just log into the app whenever you want to make extra cash and the orders will come. You can earn $20 an hour.
  3. Postmates: Postmates is another popular option to make money delivery groceries, takeout, or even alcohol. Plus, there is no dress code so you can wear whatever you want during deliveries.

If you do plan picking a delivery app to make extra cash in your free time, consider driving for multiple food delivery apps at the same time in order to be more profitable and make more money in between orders. If you haven’t yet, click here to sign up for Instacart, DoorDash and Postmates!

9) Cut $20 From Your Monthly Bills

Want another quick way to make $20 fast simply by lowering your bills?

If you could use creative ways to save money in your life right now then you should consider using apps that’ll help you legit lower your bills.

That might sound too good to be true but you can literally pay less on your cell phone, cable, security or other bills.

These companies will negotiate the lowest possible rate for you – no headaches, just savings! They even get you refunds when your internet goes down!

  1. Truebill is your automated financial assistant, putting you back in control of your money. Review spend, manage subscriptions, lower bills, and track your budgets all in one place. The #1 money saving app to lower your bills.
  2. Trim negotiate your bills, give back 4% interest on savings, cancel old subscriptions, and more.
  3. Billshark gets you the best rate on your bills and you can save up to $3,000/yr. No fees unless lowered and they have a  90% success saving rate.

If you love saving money then use these budgeting ideas to generate ideas about the best ways to save money in your day-to-day life.

10) Use Game Apps to Win Real Money

There are games that pay you to play –  Yes, I’m serious.

These 3 apps will PAY YOU to play games on your mobile device.

  1. Mistplay (Android) – If you have an android device, you can download this app and start getting cash rewards for playing new games.
  2. Solitaire Cube (iOS) – Earning money by playing games on your phone sounds like a dream. But this app really pays you for playing solitaire with cash rewards.
  3. Lucktastic (Android) – This free app offers the same daily scratch-off cards that you find at your local convenience store — but here you can play for free and win real money.

11) Get Free Money

Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $100 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $100 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch, just use your card to make at least $1,000 in cumulative transactions within 60 days of opening an account. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

SIGN UP NOW

12) Get a Free Stock from Robinhood

Robinhood: This investing app lets you trade stocks and do everything for free and takes no fees — ever. Better yet, if you join through this link you can get a free stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint when you join (must complete signup).

Next Option: Sign Up Freebies to Earn $20 Fast

Your next bet is to get some quick wins through freebies and sign up bonuses.

The three survey sites below are legitimate and you can join from your smartphone.

I’m not the biggest fan of survey sites, but it’s worth it just to claim a quick sign up bonus.

Once you’re in and a paid survey is ready for you to take, you’ll get a notification.

Sign up for all 3 below (will open in new tabs) and you’ll get paid up to $50/per survey.

Need More Ways to Make $20 Fast?

A ton of people are searching online for the best ways to make 20 dollars fast.

Well, look no further, because if you wanted more ways to make money online besides these free money making ideas, there are more apps that pay you real money.

If you didn’t claim your $5 bonuses already, don’t forget to check out the best sign up bonuses below:

  • SurveyJunkie: Make up to $50 per survey in your spare time from home to take online surveys, participating in Focus Groups and trying new products. Join SurveyJunkie Now
  • Swagbucks: Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more to earn real money. Join Swagbucks Now to Get $10 Free
  • InboxDollars: Has so far paid its members over $40 Million. Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more. Join InboxDollars Now and Get Free $10
  • Branded Surveys: Is known as one of the #1 paid survey site. Take paid surveys anytime and anywhere via PC, Laptop, Tablet, Cell Phone or Mobile App. Join Branded Surveys Now

Next, you can take a look at the best money making apps where you can earn money (even during COVID-19).

10 Money Saving Tricks for Students

Getting a degree in today’s world is expensive. The student loan crisis results from soaring tuitions to elevated expenses of student’s accommodation and food, the entire journey of getting a degree is filled with unavoidable expenses.

Your parents can only help so much with college expenses.  A recent report notes that most parents who have contributed to their child’s tuition and room and board only saved less than $10,000. That suggests there’s not much cash, if any, leftover for living expenses while their student is on campus. With the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2019–2020 school year was $41,426 at private colleges, $11,260 for state residents at public colleges and $27,120 for out-of-state students at state schools, according to data reported to U.S. News in an annual survey.

While you cannot do anything about these major expenses, you can still act smart and save some money from your daily expenditures. So, stop fussing about the money you already spent and read the below money-saving hacks that will help you learn how to save money in college.

1. Check for scholarships

A number of universities offer grants, scholarships, and subsidies to help students pay the tuition fees. So, get in touch with the financial aid department of your university and check if you are eligible for any of these scholarships and grants. As most of the universities have a limited number of scholarships to give away, try to apply early without missing the deadline.

2. Buy and sell used textbooks

Rather than spending a lot of money on new textbooks, try buying used textbooks from other students or websites like eBay. This will save plenty of money and you still have the materials you need for your course.

Once your final exams are over, instead of just dumping the textbooks, sell it to other students who might need them to get a little profit. Additionally, if you have made some great lecture notes, exchange them for cash as a bonus.

3. Buy a piggy bank

Just like your childhood days, try saving some extra money in a piggy bank. If not a piggy bank, get yourself a spare wallet which can hold all your extra money. From adding spare change from daily expenses to putting aside a big chunk of money from your wages or student finance, use a method which works the best for you.

4. Check for student discounts

By using your student card, you are automatically eligible for great discounts from a number of products and services from major retailers. From getting discounts on movie tickets to special discounts on online shopping websites and restaurants, take complete advantage of your student card.

This is probably the most exciting part of being a student on a budget, discounts. So, research different options, memberships, and cards you can sign up for to take complete advantage of your student status. Also, keep an eye out for student events where discounts are even higher for one night. Also, take a look into money making apps for students to earn extra money on the side.

5. Make a budget

Consider creating a budget as your top priority. Make a list of all your income sources. This might include your pocket money, allowances from parents, part-time wages, savings, etc. Additionally, make a separate list of your estimated monthly expenses.

These expenses might include your dining out or takeaway meals, grocery shopping for cooking food at home, school supplies, laundry, personal care and travelling. Make some arrangement of saving money from your income sources in the budget and ensure that you stick to this budget every month.

6. Separate wants from needs

As a student, you might get tempted for spending money on things which you might not need later. Try to be more watchful towards your wants and needs. Decide if you need to take a quick takeaway meal from outside or cook a simple meal for you at home.

The same idea applies to material objects like clothes and decorative items. Ask yourself if you need it and if your money is well spent. This puts your mind at ease, is a useful money-saving hack and helps you make informed choices about how you choose to spend your money.

Also, keep a track on your expenses to see if you can save some money either by doing your own laundry or by using a bicycle to your university instead of public transport. This will save small pennies but really goes a long way as a money-saving hack.

7. Replace credit card with a debit card

Holding a credit card will make it easy for you to spend money on unnecessary things. This might lead to overextending your credit limits. Once the credit is piled up, there will be surcharges for non-payments or late payments. Instead, use a debit card where you can keep an eye on your expenses and are aware of the money you have in your account.

8. Do not throw away the leftover food

Do not throw away leftover food unless it is rotten or gone stale. Properly stored food can last in the fridge for 2-3 days or even for a week. Also, you can cook your food in bulk on weekends and just grab it and re-heat it on weekdays.

This will help you save both money and time. Additionally, keep a watch on the expiry dates of certain food products such as dairy, bread, cereals, sauces, and what you buy from the supermarket.

You could also find buying frozen vegetables and meat to be cheaper and last longer. This will definitely prove as a handy money-saving hack as students you are limited on budget and meat is the most expensive part of a grocery shop.

9. Buy in bulk

If you have some extra space in your accommodation, then buy items in bulk. For example, items such as paper towels, shampoos, soaps, and more that have a longer shelf life compared to food. If you don’t have space to store additional items, check with your friends who might need the same things as yours and share the items as well as the expenses.

10. Ditch expensive gym memberships

Rather than paying a lot of money at fancy gyms, check if your university offers a gym membership to its students. University gym memberships are either free or come at minimal charges making it pocket-friendly. If your university doesn’t have a gym, check for some group classes such as yoga, Zumba or aerobics which will help you stay active and fit. If you are interested in playing indoor or outdoor games, then check if there is a provision for playing sports at the university and enroll for it.

Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to saves money as a student but you have to keep track of your spending to do it. It is all your responsibility and it is completely achievable to thrive while on a college budget.

Author Bio

Steve is the owner behind the website Best Essay Writing Company. He is a retired Financial adviser who now helps students find the right support and tutoring services for them. He is passionate about education and learning.

9 Best Money Making Websites That Pay You Cash

Are you looking for easy websites to make money or ways to make money fast outside of your job?

Then you’ll love this article. I’ll share several lucrative ways you make some money through the best websites to earn money.

Why would anyone want to make money with money making websites?

Depending on a monthly salary can be frustrating. With rising living standards, making it to the end of the month can prove to be difficult.

Some people depend on having side income streams to make ends meet, so learning to make money outside of your job is beneficial for most people.

There are plenty of ways to make money over and above your monthly salary. In order to do this, you would have to fully utilize your time and resources you already have. This is possible through these simple money making websites.

personal finance wiki

9 Money Making Websites To Earn Money Online

Looking for some quick ways to make a little extra cash? Check out these options.

1.  Amazon Flex

Amazon Flex – The latest entry to this market space, Flex launched in Amazon’s home market of Seattle and has since expanded to two dozen other markets. You can earn up to $25/hour delivering packages to Prime customers in under one hour. You cover gas, maintenance, and any other car expenses.

2. Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk – Another Amazon service, Mechanical Turk lets you do “human intelligence tasks” online for a variety of pay points. One man earned $20,000 doing these small jobs from home while he still had a full-time job!

3. Task Rabbit

TaskRabbit.com: Cleaning, shopping, and delivery, handyman, moving help, general help and summer tasks are a few of the categories that you can hire yourself out in.

4. CheckPoints

CheckPoints.com: App that offers manufacturer deals while you’re in the store. You earn points for simply scanning the barcode on an item in a store. No purchase of the product is necessary. You can redeem the points you collect for free gift cards, airline miles, and other perks.

5. Easy Shift App

EasyShiftApp.com: Become an on-demand secret shopper. You’re assigned “shifts” by product manufacturers who want people on the ground to go into stores and confirm that their merchandise is being displayed properly. The pay rate for a shift is between $3 and $8 and the money is remitted to you via PayPal.

6. Foap

Foap: Make money by taking photos. Plus, you can charge as much as you want per photo.

7. Field Agent

Field Agent: Find local jobs in your area and complete them within two hours for cash.

8. Fiverr

Fiverr.com – Are you an expert at reviewing resumes? Designing websites? Improving PowerPoint presentations? Developing marketing materials? If you can do any of these things or more, there’s a market for your talents on Fiverr.

9. eLance

eLance.com – Offer your freelance services to others in a variety of fields.

These are the Best Websites To Make Money! Go Get It!

One of the great things about the internet is that it’s such a great way to get into business for yourself.

No matter where you live, as long as you have an internet connection, you can make money online.

In this article, you found some of my favorites ways to make money online with these easy sites that’ll help you earn in 2021.

We hope this helps you in some way. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all about these money making websites!

The Best Federal Student Loan Servicers in 2021

We rank the best student loan servicers so you know which student loan servicer is best and which one is not in 2020.

Getting a federal student loan is a must for most college students. Aside from the fact that it offers low-interest rates, the payment options are also more flexible and manageable. Unfortunately, the federal government does not allow students to choose their own loan servicers, or the companies responsible in managing the students’ loans.

Once a student applies for a federal loan, he will immediately be assigned to a private loan servicer. The student can be appointed to any of the existing servicer companies in the United States. Once assigned, the servicing company will take charge in managing payments, providing options, and giving overall support for the student loan holder.

Lender vs. Servicer

Some people get confused and use these two terms interchangeably, when, in fact, these are two different entities related to federal loans. The lender is the entity responsible for providing the credit to the applicant to be used for higher education fees. Meanwhile, a servicer is a private company tapped by the US government to manage the existing student loans of students.

This means that a student who applies for a federal student loan only needs to contact the Federal Student Aid once and then send an application. Once approved, it will assign the student to a servicer.

The student should then remain in constant communication with his federal loan servicer to work with him in providing servicing plans, helping in loan consolidation, and assisting in different tasks related to the loan.

Federal Loan Servicers in the US

If you are an incoming college freshman and you want to get a federal student loan, you better be ready and know the possible loan servicers that may be assigned to you. Below are some of the most popular loan servicers for student loans. Because you’ll never know which of them will manage your loan, it will help to understand more about them:

About 90% of all federal student loans today are assigned to one of the Big Four servicers, which are Great Lakes, FedLoan Servicing, Navient, and Nelnet. Unfortunately, three of these servicers are also among the most hated according to complaint statistics. Navient, FedLoan Servicing, and Nelnet received 1,027 complaints per million serviced accounts during the previous year. You may have seen news about the Navient lawsuit, and that they are facing six lawsuits alleging illegally cheating borrowers out of repayment rights through shortcuts and deception.

Being assigned to Great Lakes will not be the perfect experience, either. However, as far as the other servicers are concerned, Great Lakes is your best bet for a service provider in the country. It only received 36 complaints per one million customers last year.

Aside from the Big Four, there are also five nonprofit servicers: Cornerstone, Granite State, HESC, MOHELA, and OSLA. These servicers vary when it comes to customer satisfaction, but the more favored ones seem to be OSLA, Granite State, and HESC. If you want to learn how to get in contact with your student loan servicer, you can see this post here.

Is There a Way to Choose Loan Servicers?

If you are fed up with the federal loan servicer assigned to you, you have the option to get another servicer. However, you can only do so by choosing any of the two options:

  • Consolidation – This will allow you to apply for a new student loan and combine it with your existing credit. It’s an option that lowers the monthly payments but extends the loan term. However, this will also require you to pay bigger interest over time.
  • Refinance – This will allow you to get a new student loan, but from a private lender. Your existing federal loan will be transferred to a private lender, such as a bank or a loan union. Remember that private lenders generally have higher interest rates and more strict payment schemes so it’s best to think about it.

Financial Management

Whether you’re assigned to a good-rated or bad-rated loan servicer, it is entirely up to you whether you’ll be able to cover the monthly payments or not. Some customers blame servicers when, in fact, it was entirely their fault that they failed to stay updated with their debts.

It will take discipline maintaining a good relationship with money, so you can dictate what it can do for you, and not the other way around.  Successful financial management cannot be achieved right away—it takes constant self-control to make paying off your loan a priority. Never treat your credit as a liability, but rather an investment for your education.

If you think you can’t handle federal student loans, you can always consider getting a scholarship. You can check with the college you are enrolling in, state and federal agencies, foundations, religious and education groups, or even your parents’ employers for opportunities. Most scholarships are merit-based or by achieving specific academic standards, while some are based on financial necessity.

Author Bio:

AJ Balois is a Content Manager at BPI-Philam, a bancassurance company, based in the Philippines. She’s been working in the banking and insurance industry for seven years. Upon realizing the power of being financially literate, AJ promised to share her knowledge through informative and educational content.   

How to Budget Money on a Low Income

If you have a low income, here is how to create a budget that will help you save money and be sure your expenses are covered.

Although there are many budgeting blogs and tips, many of these don’t appear to be relevant when you have a low income.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can budget on a low income, and here we’ll explore this topic in more detail, so you can start getting your finances in order.

Work Out Your Basic Expenses

best passive income websites

First and foremost, you need to know what your basic expenses are. These are things that you must pay each and every month, so they include costs such as rent, transportation, utilities, and food. These basic expenses will dictate how much “disposable” income you have available, which we will explore later.

Fortunately, there are some great expense tracking apps that can help you to determine where your money is going each month. When looking at the two most popular apps as a Personal Capital vs Mint comparison, you will need to see which platform you feel most comfortable using. Both of these apps have features to make expense tracking and budgeting easier.

Once you start getting a handle on your finances, you can also use these apps to start planning for the future, including paying off your student loans or even saving for a deposit to buy your own home. However, for the moment, your main priority is likely to be to stabilize your finances and try to manage your modest income as best as you can.

Of course, if you don’t yet feel comfortable using an app, you can work out your expenses the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper. Just gather your bank and credit card statements to note down all of your regular expenses. You will need to prioritize your essential expenses, so don’t include that morning latte in your costs, just yet.

Your list of essential expenses should include:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Transport costs
  • Food

Add up the expenses that are needed to survive comfortably each month to create a baseline to start your budgeting efforts. Once you are aware of how much you have to cover each month, you can start to add in other expenses as you can afford them.

Set Your Budget

Emergency Savings Fund

Once you have established your basic costs, you will be aware of just how much you have to spend each month. The fundamentals of how to make a budget are quite straightforward; take the figure you calculated above from your income to determine if there is a surplus. You can then plan in any additional costs that make your life more comfortable.

Try to be realistic about your expenses and look at things you can afford. So, while you may not be able to afford fancy new clothes every month, it is inevitable that you will need a few new items throughout the year. Additionally, you’re not likely to want to spend all of your time stuck at home, so plan in a fund for entertainment.

However, once you have worked out all these costs and set limits, you will need to stick to them. Write out your budget in full and keep it handy, so you can track your spending and ensure that you stick to your budget.

This can be a challenge on a low income, but we’ll discuss some ways to increase your financial flexibility in more detail.

Try to Minimize Your Biggest Expense

One of the biggest challenges of managing a budget on a low income is covering all those essential expenses. If your budget is particularly tight, you may wonder how you’re supposed to have a life when you can barely cover your rent, food, transportation, and other essential costs.

To make sure that you’re not living like a hermit, it is crucial to start looking at any large expenses that can be minimized. The chances are that your largest expense is your rent, but it is not always possible to change this. Many people are tied into a lease, where it would be extremely costly to move even if they could afford first and last in a new place.

However, if you have space in your home, you could find a roommate to help share the costs. Many students are already sharing a home with roommates, but it may be worth discussing the situation and deciding if there is room for another person. If you have the space for a couch and television in your kitchen, you may be able to convert your living room into another bedroom.

Shop Smart

passive income websites

If you can’t minimize your rent, don’t worry as there are other large expenses that can be trimmed to create a little financial breathing room. Even something as simple as learning to cook can save a small fortune in food costs. You can easily make two or three dinners for the cost of a take out, so this can drastically reduce your expenses.

According to a Forbes report, it is five times more expensive to order restaurant delivery compared to cooking at home. So, you should really rethink your takeout habits. In fact, if you want to save money, throw out your takeaway menus and keep a shopping list handy, so you can plan your groceries.

Another way to cut the costs of your groceries is to shop in bulk and buy only seasonal produce. There are lots of discount grocery stores around, so it may be able to save money by traveling a little further to a cheaper store rather than relying on the store on the corner. Of course, you can only make savings if you buy foods you like in bulk; there is no point in buying a 10 pound bag of rice if you only like to eat rice dishes once every week or two.

You can also save money on groceries by shopping to offers. Look out for offers on your favorite items including:

  • Buy one get one free,
  • Three for two
  • x% off

When you see an offer, stock up. Additionally, look out for coupons, as a dollar here and 50 cents there can really start to add up.

Stick to Cash

college budget

Another issue with budgeting on a low income is sticking to the budget. It can be very easy to overspend by 5 dollars here or there and find that you’re really over budget by the end of the month. One of the best ways to avoid this is to stick to a cash budget.

In simple terms, instead of using your debit or credit cards, you will have the cash to spend on most of your expenses. Of course, your rent and some other expenses may be taken directly out of your bank account, but keeping a cash budget for spending, including grocery shopping, nights out, and clothing will help you to keep better track.

The most effective way is to have an envelope for each type of spending. So, if you’ve budgeted $100 for grocery shopping a month, at the start of the month, put $100 dollars in an envelope marked groceries. Each time you visit the store, pay out of this envelope.

While this may seem a little daunting, having the physical cash will stop you from overspending. No one likes the embarrassment of not having enough money at the checkout, so you’ll be forced to check how much you have before you start loading up your grocery cart.

Restructure Your Debt

Student Loans 101

According to an AIG report, over one-third of college students already have credit card debt totaling more than $1,000, and many of them have no plans to pay it off in the near future. If you’ve been struggling to manage your finances on a low income, you may have already been using your credit cards for basic expenses, including rent and food.

So, in addition to trying to manage your expenses, you now have to cover the payments on your credit cards.

Fortunately, many credit card companies appreciate that their customers may struggle to manage their debt and may be willing to negotiate your terms. If you’ve been struggling to pay even the minimum payment each month, it is worth giving your credit card company a call to see if they will put a freeze on your account interest.

While this may not seem like much, if you are not accumulating interest on your credit card account for six months or a year, you will be able to pay the same amount, but start tackling the balance. This will create a little breathing space, so you can start to plan your long term finances.

Look for “Free” Money

side hustles for students

If you’re struggling to cover all of your expenses on your income, be on the lookout for free money. This doesn’t mean finding a $10 bill on the street, but rather all of the potential money that is available to you that you may not have taken advantage of, such as tax refunds, bonuses, and even special offers.

There are lots of apps and platforms that will pay you cash back or gift cards just for doing your usual regular activities, including shopping in certain stores, playing online games, or browsing the internet. Many of these apps require the completion of simple tasks that are easy to fit around a class schedule, and while you’re not likely to make a full-time income, they can provide a nice side hustle.

For example, Swagbucks allows you to accumulate points to save for free gift cards by performing short online tasks. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can exchange them for a gift card that can be used to buy groceries, enjoy a meal out, or just treat yourself to a little something. This can be a great reward for sticking to your budget, without needing to find the extra money to buy something.

Start Saving

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When you’re on a low income, even the thought of saving can be daunting, but it is worth adding into your plans. Even if you can only manage to save $20 a month, it can provide a buffer if you have an unexpected expense or bill. While it may take a little belt tightening to provide some savings each month, once you get used to automatically putting a little away each month, it will seem easier.

Increase Your Earnings

what to know about students

Even if you’re great at budgeting, a low income should only be a temporary situation. Whether you’re still in school or working an internship, your low income should only be in the long term. However, it may be possible to increase your earnings until you can reach a higher income potential.

Once you’ve lowered your expenses and cut costs, making $400 a month more can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can start making a little extra each month. As we mentioned above, there are money-making apps that can provide a decent side gig to earn a little extra each month.

However, there are other ways to increase your earnings. You could ask for a raise or promotion at work. Many employers appreciate employees asking for more responsibilities, and you could be rewarded with a raise.

If this is not possible, you may need to look at applying for better paying jobs. While it can be challenging to manage a job around your school schedule, there are some decent opportunities, which can allow you to boost your income.

You could also consider turning your interests and current skills into an income stream. If you’re on an academic path, consider tutoring, if you enjoy media, consider becoming a YouTube creator. These types of opportunities should not detract from your studies and can also be a welcome feature on your resume when you apply for employment or a post grad course.

Conclusion

Being on a low income can be a real challenge, particularly when you’re at school and want to enjoy socializing with your friends. However, there is no need to get trapped in spiraling debt, if you can budget correctly. Budgeting need not be daunting, and with our tips, you can take control of your finances.

Budgeting your money on a low income can allow you to ensure that all of your necessities are covered and maybe even find a little extra cash to pay off debt and start a savings account. You’ll need to get used to tracking your spending, but once you get the hang of budgeting, it is a valuable tool for the future.

The Long Road to the Student Loan Debt Crisis

Analysis of the recent Department of Education (DOE) data shows that only 56% of borrowers are paying back their student loans, while 32% of borrowers are either postponing payment or not paying at all. Experian analyzed data from the Department of Education (DOE) to see how borrowers are managing their student loan debt.

 Here are some of the findings:

  • $722 billion (56%) is in repayment as of Q3 2019.
  • $127 billion (9.8%) is currently in deferment.
  • $129 billion (10%) is currently in forbearance.
  • $155 billion (12%) is currently in default.
  • 8.8% of people with student loan debt are still in school.

The student loan debt crisis is growing and interest rates on these loans continue to rise. Is your degree worth the excess of student loan debt you incur?

I feel for those with high student loan debt sometimes reaching close to $100,000. We all know that one person was sold the college dream and have $80,00-$100,000 in loans and now working jobs that don’t even utilize their prestigious degrees.

Crippling student loan debt is a serious problem; Americans owed nearly US $1.6 trillion in student loan debt as of October 2019, more than three times the amount of debt from just a decade ago.

Student Loan Statistics (Source Forbes):

  • Total Student Loan Debt: $1.52 trillion
  • Total U.S. Borrowers With Student Loan Debt: 44.2 million
  • Student Loan Delinquency Or Default Rate: 10.7% (90+ days delinquent)
  • Total Increase In Student Loan Debt In Most Recent Quarter: $29 billion
  • New Delinquent Balances (30+ days): $32.6 billion

And the states with the most debt are staggering:

student loan debt crisis
Source: Enterprise Data Warehouse

What’s the Real Return on Your Student Loan Debt?

In this country, it is ingrained in our brains at a very young age that it is either university or you will be working at McDonald’s. Generations before us, or our parent’s generations, there were jobs all over the board to be had.

Return on this college degree investment, back when our parents graduated made it a worthwhile endeavor. Now there are more college graduates than employment opportunities in every industry.

BLS predicts that between 2012 and 2022, the U.S. will see a net increase of 15,628,000 jobs. But of that number, only 4,230,500 will require a minimum of a college degree. Crippling student loans would only be worthwhile if you make sure you have a job offer lined up after college. Private student loan companies hand out loans to anyone with a pulse, and interest rates are more than 4%.

These rates increase year after year, not to mention that colleges and universities increase tuition 6% year after year. Tuitions have risen across the board 1000% by 1978. Colleges offer a multitude of majors with virtually no employable opportunities, colleges offer new editions textbooks every semester just to take more money out of your pocket.

Higher education has become one of the most profitable business models in the country. The fact that everyone is basically entitled a student loan, some of which do not have the ability to pay after college remains me of the subprime mortgage crisis. This is basically the way it is designed, the trillion-dollar debt is all by design. The majority of college students graduating are enslaved to their debts, being forced to postpone a costly wedding, buying a home, and children.

Got Student Loans? You Have Options

The silver lining to this story is that more millennials are pursuing higher education, even if they are taking out loans to do so. Some economists are troubled by the fact that fewer people under 30 are buying homes and other goods as more are paying for college, but higher education is, on the whole, a solid place to put your money.

In 2017, the median earnings for young adults with bachelor’s degrees were 50 percent higher than those of their counterparts with high school diplomas. But for many members of Generation Debt, the benefits of having a diploma may seem a long way off.

If you want to learn more about your student loan options, here are some good student loan resources to consider:

Originally appeared on Smarts.co.

A Look at How Millennial Student Debt is Holding You Back

Millennial student debt is one of the most likely things to hold you back in life. Here is how debt is holding you back, Millennials.

One of the things most likely to hold you back in life is your student loan debt. While it’s possible to borrow smart, and use debt as a way to leverage different opportunities, it can also drag your finances down. Using debt requires that you walk a fine line that can result in financial bondage if you aren’t careful.

Even if you do use debt for something considered “reasonable” like education (student loans), buying a home, or starting a business, it’s important to borrow as little as you can and to pay it back as quickly as possible. If you don’t, even so-called “good” debt can begin to hold you back.

How?

How Debt is Holding You Back

1. Debt Saps Wealth

millennial homebuyers

Even though it’s possible to use debt as a way to jump-start financial success, you should realize that, ultimately, debt saps wealth. This is especially true of consumer debt with high interest rates, such as credit card debt. When you are paying interest to someone else, you reduce your disposable income in a way that leaves less for you to use the way you want.

Paying interest means that your money is going to someone else — and not going to build a profitable side business, improve your financial future through wise investments, or even to a great family vacation. Pay off your debt as quickly as you can in order to ensure that your money is being used for your financial future.

2. Debt Can Affect Your Ability to Find Work

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Another way that debt can hold you back is in your professional life. While not all jobs require a credit check, some employers might want to know your credit history. If you are going to work in the financial sector, or if you have a sensitive job, you might be considered vulnerable and unsuited if you have a high amount of debt.

Getting out of debt can help you improve job prospects in some cases. Not only that, but most people feel a jolt of confidence when they pay off debt. Being debt free can translate into confidence and a good attitude that can help you get hired, as well as help you negotiate a higher salary. You might not even realize how debt has been weighing on your confidence and attitude until you pay it off and feel better about yourself and your situation.

3. Debt Can Impact Your Relationships

Stress introduced into relationships because of debt can really make a difference. What happens when you are in debt can cause stress and anxiety, and lead to difficulties with your loved ones. Indeed, marriages have been ruined because of the stresses that come with being in debt. Plus, your anxiety can impact relationships with children, parents, friends, and coworkers. Get out of debt, and you will find yourself more relaxed, and better able to focus on building good relationships with those around you.

The Student Loan Crisis

The student loan crisis is going to cause changes in the economy because it has started to cause a trend in which recent graduates are delaying their first home purchase. With student loan debt in the United States having more than doubled, it is driving down homeownership due to the lengthy-time period it takes to pay back student loans [1].

This money if saved up each month could be used for a down payment. Unfortunately, the cost of living and education today has increased but minimum wage has not increased with the same rate of inflation as other sectors. The previous generation could be home-owners and have no student debt within a few years after graduation.

Today, many are still paying their students debts 10 years post-graduation and still do not own homes [1]. Today to get a decent income many require more than a Bachelor’s degree but the baby boomers only needed a Bachelor’s, therefore this generation is in more student debt and spend more years in school, delaying their career start date.

Student loans are keeping many in the 24 to 32 age group from buying a home, according to a Federal Reserve study and from 2005 to 2014, the percentage in that group owning homes dropped from 45 percent to 36 percent, 20 percent of which likely came from education debt burden [2]. During this 9 year period, college debt doubled per capita, leading to 400,000 recent graduates not buying homes who otherwise would have [2].

This also means that credit scores are being impacted, even if they have a payment a couple of day late. Therefore students are struggling more often to get credit card limit increases and car loans [2]. It is unfortunate that “83% of non-homeowners say student loan debt is preventing them from buying a home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)” [3], that is a ridiculously high number as they are the next generation and if they are coming into this economy with this much struggle the housing sector is not the only one that will be impacted.

Another issue is that “options are slim and competition is fierce, as the availability of cheaper homes is about half that of pricier options — and supply is tightening” [4]. With less homes in an affordable price range, it is forcing those that cannot afford to increase their home budget to keep renting and sometimes they have to rent far away from work to get cheaper rent.

The student loan crisis has become such a large problem, some are going as far to say it has “completely broken…the business cycle,” with school loans increasing steadily throughout the last financial crisis even with debt growth slowing in other sectors, nearly “one-fifth of the U.S. population is holding student loans..double the 2004 level” [4]. 

With first-time homebuyers being a key part of America’s housing sector, with the current patterns, the real-estate industry and economy is going to be taking a big hit due to the student loan crisis [4]. The government needs to better assist students to accommodate the difference in inflation between cost of living and minimum wage. A program with lower interest rates for recent graduates and possible longer amortization periods, to be able to make lower monthly payments would greatly benefit the young generation trying to start their careers.

Millennials and Debt — A Shift in Mindset

Being in debt can really weigh on a person. From holding you back financially to holding you back in other areas of your life, debt can be a real burden.

Take steps to pay your student loans faster and other debts, and you will feel happier and have more income at your disposal.

Sources:

[1]- https://www.npr.org/2019/02/01/689660957/heavy-student-loan-debt-forces-many-millennials-to-delay-buying-homes

[2]- https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/16/student-loan-debt-is-keeping-young-people-from-buying-homes-fed-study-finds.html

[3]- https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-does-student-loan-debt-affect-buying-a-home/

[4]- https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-18/three-charts-show-struggle-is-real-for-millennial-home-buyers

White Rock Loans Review 2021: Scam or Legit?

Is WhiteRockLoans.com legit and safe? We will review this loan lender, White Rock Loans, to see if you should trust them or not.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a position where you need a loan, no matter what it may be for, then you likely understand just how stressful it can be – especially when it comes to picking out a service to do it through.

Of course, most would-be loaners are turning to the internet these days, as is typical of the digital age. Sites like MoneyGator.net are particularly popular – rather than being a lender in itself, they essentially distribute the details of would-be loaners among its extensive network of money lending services. In this way, loaners like yourself can far more efficiently find the best lender for what they’re looking for (and get the best rates).

But you likely know this. In fact, you’re probably here in the first place because you’re thinking of giving White Rock Loans a try. But you likely also know that choosing a money lending service is a big decision – and making a rash choice can potentially be a serious hassle, and potentially a waste of time and money.

But from what we’ve seen, you really have made the right decision in considering White Rock Loans as your lender marketplace.

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What is White Rock Loans?

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Get a safe and secure loan up to $5000 from WhiteRockLoans! Users submit their request online and can be approved by a lender within minutes. white rock loans

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Is White Rock Loans Legit?

Firstly, and perhaps most strongly, there’s its dedication to convenience. We can’t personally know what the circumstances are surrounding your loan, but we’re guessing you’d like to get your hands on it as soon as realistically possible.

And that’s the principle that White Rock Loans is pretty much built on. Fill in some basic info about yourself and the loan you’re looking to take out, and that info is provided to a vast network of potential lenders, thus dramatically speeding up the process of finding a lender who suits your needs.white rock loans

And just to complement the slickness and convenience, White Rock Loans offers an ACH payment option, which withdraws the due payment for your loan out of your bank account on its due date, thus ensuring that, with no input from or extra cost to you, you fully avoid all the stress and hassle that can potentially come with a missed payment.

And secondly, there’s the simple fact that it costs nothing to make use of White Rock Loans’ services. To be sure, some of the lenders you choose to do business with may charge you separate fees; but accessing the White Rock Loans marketplace itself, and perusing and comparing the various lenders, doesn’t cost you anything.

This may sound like a simple asset at first; but when you think of it, it’s a serious blessing when you’re looking for a loan. After all, at a time like that, you’ll probably want to avoid spending excess money.

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White Rock Loans Review

Basically, White Rock Loans is a site that makes the loaning process as slick and convenient as it can be, all without any extra cost to you. You’ve really got nothing to lose by giving it a go. Being in the position of needing a loan can be a stressful one, and you deserve for it to be as painless as possible – and from what we can see, that’s precisely what White Rock Loans provides.

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Top Reasons Parents are Struggling with Parent PLUS Loan Repayment

That moment at the end of your senior year, when the caps are thrown in the air is such a moment of pride. With flowers and gifts, your family is there to celebrate this reward of hours spent studying for your SATs, ACTs and AP tests.

Then the grad party is over, and it is time to deal with college admissions. Armed with your dream acceptance letter, there are majors to choose and deadlines to beat. Then comes the sticker shocker; how are you going to pay for all of it?

Chances are that your parents do not have a college fund like you always thought they did. And if they have, majorities have less than $10,000 socked up. Non-profit private colleges now charge a minimum of $46,950 for fees, room and tuition and these costs are skyrocketing by the day.

Many parents at this point will jump in to save the day. Their dream is to see you have a brighter future than they have had. Parents know this future can be built on the bedrock of solid tertiary education. So, some will tap on home equity and raid their retirement funds. But if your parents do not have such assets, they will go into private debt or get a federal Parent Plus loan.

The outcome of these decisions has a very bleak outlook for your parents. While a student can get a student loan, a parent on the verge of retirement has no chances of getting a retirement loan.

So most parents getting into debt to finance their children’s education are most probably going to be a financial burden to them in the future. Unfortunately, research shows that Millennials have slim chances of out-earning their hard-working parents, so taking on that debt yourself might be an impossible task.

Why do parents get into debt for their children’s education?

  • Thanks to student loans, Millennials are now beginning their adult lives with a negative average net worth. With an average student loan ranging from $37,172 in 2016, it is understandable that most parents hate the notion of letting their kids start their life out of debt.
  • Kids who finance their college education definitely have to work through their college lives. Most parents would rather have their kids more focused on better GPAs than finances.
  • If you have to work to fund your education chances are that college life is not really going to be the best time of your life. You will probably miss out not only on your social life but some classes too. Your parents might get into debt just to cushion you from the harsh realities of working through college.
  • Your parents might still be paying off their own student loans. This makes them very committed to ensuring that you stay off the lifelong financial burden unfortunately by taking on more debt themselves.
  • A simple survey shows that 28% of all parents have nothing saved for a college kitty. These parents will end up taking a loan because they have to, at the rush of getting kids into college. They haven’t found ways to save money as they should have.
  • Most parents have never heard of a 529 plan. These tuition plans are usually sponsored by educational institutions, states or their agencies to encourage a culture of saving for future educational costs.

Top reasons parents are struggling to pay off student loans

Parent PLUS loans

In the 80s, the Parent Plus loan had caps on borrowing, but come 1993, most of those limits were lifted. Now your parents are eligible to up to your college’s cost of attendance. Most parents get a pleasant surprise on the realization that the stringent credit check rules that apply to other financing purchase options do not apply for Parent Plus. They can actually borrow more than they can afford to pay.

And without large dings on their credit, your parent can get a loan approval of up to tens of thousands of debt. You can see where this is going. With no caps on borrowing and a continual increase in tuition fee charges, parents have dug themselves into a tight spot. This situation has thoroughly worsened the loan repayment outcomes with up to 3.4 million parents now owing up to $87 billion in Parent PLUS loans. This is a hefty 6% of all outstanding student federal loans.

This outcome should not come as a surprise though. These loans have a substantial 7.6% interest rate and a 4.248% origination fee. Now, a student who borrows a federal student loan has many borrower protections that a parent cannot enjoy. This means that on default, your parent’s wages and their social security benefits will be garnished. Their tax refunds could be confiscated too.

The major problem with Parent Plus loans is that a parent cannot easily transfer the responsibility of payment to their child. They could transfer them personally or through rare student loan consolidations, but this means losing all relief options and federal protection as well. The loan could lose its public service debt forgiveness opportunity and other lower payment options.

They are part of the sandwich generation

Want to know if your parents are part of the sandwich generation? Are they not only supporting you, but also taking care of their parents?

Americans today owe over $13.15 trillion in debt. A majority of American adults are debtors, with 80.95 of all baby boomers, a group already in retirement, in debt. The Gen Xers have 79.9% of their population in debt, and 81.5% of all Millennials too have found their way into the debt trap.

With little left to save after meeting all their responsibilities, parents who are willing to sacrifice and take on loans for their children are doing so with their own unpaid loans. Over the last 25 years, the average student loan borrowing amount has tripled from $5,200 in the 90s to $16,100 in 2014 and is still rising.

Entrenched in debt, taking care of their offspring, servicing their loans and taking of their parents in debt has become a tall order for most parents. Most of them are on alternate repayment plans which means that they are paying off their own loans just as their own children are enrolling into college. This has created a sandwich generation that has is slowly aging and is set to become dependent too on their children.

How to Make Parent PLUS Loan Repayment Work?

The Parent PLUS loan has options that can be of help to parent borrowers. There are extended repayment options, graduated repayment as well as consolidation options. Under the income contingent repayment option, for example, a parent can have any remaining balance after 25 years on the plan forgiven. For parents on public service jobs, they can have the forgiveness option in ten years.

Parents should also assist their children to find affordable institutions or tuition-free colleges that will keep them off the debt. If there are no scholarships or other financial grants, children can start off from affordable community colleges and transit gently to four-year colleges without straining their parent’s finances.

Finally, as steep as it has become to squirrel some savings aside, this virtue can be cultivated with good financial discipline. Start off when kids are young so that you will not have to suffer financial peril in the future.