Some people will go to great lengths to eliminate their student loan debt. In the past we’ve brought you stories of people who are willing to live in a van, a tent or a parking lot to avoid or pay down student debt. But the results of a new survey are even more extreme than that!
Crazy things people will do to pay off their student loans
With 43 million Americans struggling to pay of their student loan debt, more and more people are looking for ways to reduce the burden of those seemingly never-ending monthly payments. A new online survey from LendEDU found just what lengths many millennials would go to get rid of their student loan debt. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Forgo all social media for life – 58%
- Take a punch from Mike Tyson – 57%
- Not drink coffee for life – 57%
- No drugs or alcohol for life – 56%
- Take one year off life expectancy – 40%
- Not text for life – 36%
- Name their firstborn daughter ‘Sallie Mae’ – 28%
- Wear the exact same outfit everyday for the rest of their lives – 21%
- Cut off their pinky – 7%
- Move to Syria – 5%
- Contract an STD – 4%
The reality is you don’t have to go so deep into debt that you’ll do something crazy. There are so many ways you can lower the cost of college. Maybe you go to community college to cut the cost of a degree in half, or you work while in school. Whatever it is, be careful taking on the student loans. Because not only do you have the debt, but some lenders actually don’t play it straight.
Discover is the latest private student loan outfit to get in trouble for illegal collection tactics and inflated bills. When you owe money, you always deal with people who might play it dirty!
But maybe you’re already out of college and your student loan debt is baked in the cake. What do you do then? Don’t accept debt as a way of life. You’ve got options!
Here are some more sensible ways to deal with student loan debt
1. If you have federal student loans, there’s one program that a lot of people overlook, often because they aren’t aware of it or they don’t think it will apply to them. It’s called the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. And there’s more to the story — and a lot more money available — than many people think to forgive your student loan debt, typically after 10 or 20 years of on-time payments. More info here.
2. Income-driven repayment plans can help borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on their income and family size. There are now four types of these plans available: Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) and Income Contingent Repayment (ICR). After you qualify, your monthly payment may be adjusted each year based on changes in income and family size. You will have to verify your income every year, which means if you start to make more money, your payments may go up. The Federal Student Aid repayment estimator can help you determine eligibility and projected monthly payments before you contact your servicer to ask to be put on a plan.
3. Several communities across the country that are suffering from ‘brain drain’ — where all the talented locals move away for better job prospects — want to pay your educational bills in exchange for you being a homesteader. Click here for a list.
4. Student loan refinancing can be a great way to reduce your payments and decrease the total cost of your debt — while shrinking the time it takes to get it all paid off. While borrowers didn’t used to have many options, unless their degree or career made them eligible for programs like loan forgiveness, there are now more than a dozen lenders offering student loan refinancing. And the deals they’re offering can save people thousands of dollars. More info here.
Read more: 27 discounts you can get with a student ID