How far would you go in order to make enough money to pay off your student loan debt?
A new survey from MyBankTracker found that 30% of people polled would donate an organ if it made them enough money to pay off their student loan debt.
On top of that, more than 50% of respondents said they would give up their privacy and participate in a reality TV show, while one-third said they would even jeopardize their health.
Based on what the survey found, USAToday decided to do its own research, asking people if they would cut off their finger if it meant getting the funds necessary to pay off school debt. The results were mixed, since losing a pinky finger means no longer being able to count to 10.
What this data means
Student loan debt in the U.S. has reached nearly $1 trillion, leaving millions of Americans with monthly payments they can’t make. The fact that so many of the survey’s respondents would resort to extreme options shows just how desperate people are to erase their debt.
Better options for paying off student loan debt
If you feel like you will never be able to pay off your debt, you’re obviously not alone. But there are better ways to reduce your monthly payments — and even your overall debt.
Repaye Repayment Program
Under the new Revised Pay As You Earn (Repaye) repayment program, your monthly payments on federal loans will be capped at 10% of your discretionary income. The new rules do away with the October 2007 cut-off date for federal student loans. Going forward, any federal student loan will be eligible, regardless of when you took it out.
Outstanding debt will be forgiven after 20 years of on-time payments for those who only borrowed undergraduate loans. If you took out graduate loans, you’ll have to make on-time payments for 25 years before the remaining debt is forgiven. You can also get student loan forgiveness after 10 years for working in eligible professions.
Get more information in Clark’s Student Loan Guide.
Loan consolidation can be a great way for grads to get a more reasonable payment plan or even get their loans forgiven. The problem is there are tons of scammers out there taking advantage of people who are struggling to make payments and looking for a way out. One of the most common scams is when a company offers to consolidate your loans for a fee. Whatever the fee is called, if there is any charge, don’t do it.
The Department of Education offers this same service FOR FREE. This is a process you can do entirely on your own. If you have a federal student loan, there are no fees for debt consolidation. Get more on loan consolidation here.