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Paying Off Student Loans | Top 5 States that Make it Easy

4 blond female student careerWhen a student takes out a loan to fund his higher education, he is not too happy as he knows he has to repay it soon.

To pay off a student loan, be it federal or private, is never easy.

Students who take out loans will have to worry about repaying them the minute they get out of college as the period of enjoying the student loan benefits is over.

It doesn’t matter if they find their dream jobs, the money they borrowed for their education will have to be paid back, with interest.

Which Are The US States Offering Student Loan Consolidation?

There are a number of student forgiveness programs and consolidation companies that strive to make it easier for the students. However, these are all based on the rules and regulations in that particular state. Every state has its own set of laws, rules and regulations. There are some states which make it easier for these students to payback their loans. They are:

  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Kansas
  • Niagara Falls, New York
  • Saskatchewan, Canada

Detroit, Michigan

There are certain neighborhoods marked off in Detroit. If you live in downtown Detroit or one of the listed areas, you will receive some financial benefits with regards to your student loan.

You should reside in one of the following areas:

  • Downtown
  • Cork town
  • Lafayette Park
  • Eastern Market
  • Woodbridge
  • Brush Park
  • Cass Park
  • Art Center
  • Lower Cass

You should also work for one of these companies:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Compuware
  • DTE Energy
  • Marketing Associates
  • Quicken Loans
  • Strategic Solutions

What’s The Benefit?

You can get up to $20,000 forgivable loan if you plan to buy yourself a new home. However, if you are not ready for another big financial commitment and want to rent instead, you are eligible to receive $2,500 in the first year, for funding your apartment and will another $10,000 the next year.

Is This A Bad Neighbourhood?

No, though Detroit is ranked as the 6th most dangerous cities in the US, it has many of the attractions like any other urban city. You can find theatres, sports teams, museums, bars, restaurant, etc. And for the fitness conscious borrowers, you even have a 3.5 mile long promenade with bike paths, along the Detroit River so that you can enjoy the view as you get healthy.

Kansas

This state has a lot to offer not just students who have loans but also those who are trying to move ahead in life. Some communities offer free land if you want to build a new house.

Are You Eligible?

If you want to enjoy the benefits of student loan repayments, you must become a resident in the Rural Opportunity Zone after July1, 2011.You should also have an outstanding student loan balance and a degree. It can be an associate’s, Bachelor’s or a post graduate degree.

Kansas is very relaxed in terms of restrictions. There is no time restriction on your graduation period. You could have graduated anytime and you need not work in the same area. They aim at residential promotion hence your eligibility is purely based only on the area you live in.

Where Should You Reside?

There are 77 counties in the Rural Opportunity Zone. You can reside in any of these counties. Don’t worry; you will not be staying in any remote corner of the state. These counties cover most of the state. If you want to build your house too while you are tackling your student loan, you can stay in Plainville, Osborne, Lincoln or Marquette and get free land for building a house.

What Are The Benefits?

This program can cover up to 20% of your outstanding student loan subject to a maximum amount of $3,000 per year. This benefit is offered for a period of 5 years, thus making it a total of $15,000. However, it is up to the county to decide if it wants to pay you more than that $15,000 but the state will not pay more than $15,000.

The payment amount is sent to you via a check. The check will be sent to you in late fall and you will have to deposit it and collect the money. You will have to send the amount to your lender and keep records of the transaction as you will have to show proof to the authorities.

4 student at roofers training programIs This A Good Neighbourhood?

Though Kansas is not highly developed like many other cities, it has its own attractions. While you have fewer entertainment opportunities, you can find breweries, wineries, art and small town rural charm. If you move into this neighbourhood, not only will it be easier to pay off your student loan, but it will easier to save too. The cost of living is low when compared to other states and you get free home lots and tax benefits for building and residing in your own house.

Niagara Falls, New York

The state of New York has 9 different student loan forgiveness programs. If you are residing in New York and have received your education in the state, you can try for a student loan forgiveness program based on your degree, as these programs are specific to professions.

Where You Should Move To?

If you want to move to the state of New York to enjoy the benefits of student loan forgiveness program it offers, you should move to the downtown area in Niagara Falls.

How Do You Qualify?

If you want to receive a student loan reimbursement, you should have a degree from one of the accredited colleges. The degree should either be a 2 year degree or a 4 year degree. Also, you should have a house in the designated area, either your own or on rent.

What Is The Benefit Received?

Once you move into this neighbourhood, you will receive $3,500 per year, for the next two years.

Is This A Good Neighbourhood?

Niagara Falls is a world renowned tourist spot. It has a number of tourists visiting on a daily basis. It has wine trails and festivals all year around. However, there has been a rapid decline in the population over the last 50 years.

Minnesota

This state has a whooping 10 different student loan forgiveness programs. The state aims to attract many health care and legal professionals, hence if you are in either of these two industries, you can benefit from a number of programs.

  • Student Forgiveness For Health Care Industry

If you are part of the health care industry like a physician or a dentist, you have the following programs to choose from:

  1. Minnesota Rural Physician Loan Forgiveness Program
  2. Minnesota Urban Physician Loan Forgiveness Program
  3. Minnesota Rural Midlevel Practitioner Loan Forgiveness Program
  4. Minnesota Nurse Loan Forgiveness Program
  5. Allied Health Care Faculty or Nurse Faculty Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program
  6. Minnesota Rural Pharmacist Loan Forgiveness Program
  7. Minnesota Dentist Loan Forgiveness Program
  8. Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program
  9. Dedicated to Minnesota Dental Program Loan Repayment

If you are in the legal industry, you can opt for the “Minnesota Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Law”.

What Is The Benefit?

Each of these programs has different benefits. The amount you receive towards your student loans are influenced by the duration of your course. The longer the course, the more benefit you receive.

Saskatchewan, Canada

If you live in Canada and want to move to some place close by so that you can benefit from a student loan forgiveness program, Saskatchewan is your best option. This place is above North Dakota and Montana.

Do You Qualify?

To enjoy this program, you must be a college graduate from an approved course and college after January 1, 2006. It is not enough if you just reside in this state, you should also file an income tax return. This ensures that you not only stay in Saskatchewan but also work there. This is for the development of the community. If you live and work here, you are eligible for this program, even if you are from another country.

What Is The Benefit?

The state has a Graduate Retention Program that refunds up to $20,000 of your tuition fees. This amount is paid to you over a period of seven years. If you have graduated a 4 year degree course, you will receive $20,000 but if the duration of your course is lesser, the amount you will receive will also decrease accordingly.

Should You Move To This Neighbourhood?

This province has a good health care system, lot of opportunities for sports and recreational activities. It also has a strong art culture and has many festivals and events. Moving here will not only reduce your student loan burden but your overall cost of living will also come down. This place has the lowest household charge and taxes in the whole of Canada. Schooling is absolutely free for residents. Though the cost of living is low, the quality of life is high.

What Do Other States Offer?

Here is the list of all the states in the US and the number of student loan forgiveness programs they offer:

States No Of Programs States No Of Programs
Alabama 0 Nebraska 1
Alaska 1 Nevada 1
Arizona 3 New Hampshire 2
Arkansas 2 New Jersey 3
California 3 New Mexico 3
Colorado 3 New York 9
Connecticut 0 North Carolina 3
Delaware 1 North Dakota 3
Florida 2 Ohio 2
Georgia 1 Oklahoma 3
Hawaii 1 Oregon 3
Idaho 1 Pennsylvania 2
Illinois 4 Rhode Island 3
Indiana 1 South Carolina 1
Iowa 6 South Dakota 1
Kansas 3 Tennessee 0
Kentucky 1 Texas 9
Maine 5 Utah 0
Maryland 1 Vermont 5
Massachusetts 2 Virginia 3
Michigan 10 Washington 1
Minnesota 1 West Virginia 0
Missouri 3 Wisconsin 1
Montana 3 Wyoming 2

What Is Your Responsibility?

As a student who has availed of one or more loans, you have the responsibility to pay it back with interest. However, not everyone gets a lucrative job immediately after graduation and it for these students who are struggling that the US government has many student loan forgiveness programs. When you decide to move to a new location, so as to enjoy or benefit from the student loans forgiveness programs there, here are some of thing you should consider, before making the move.

  • What Is The Unemployment Rate?

4 career pavilionMany states offer various loan forgiveness programs and other exemptions to student, to attract the budding talents. They require health care professionals and other professionals for the development of their locality.

When the place is not as well developed as the other big cities, the opportunities are not much either. Before you move to a new state, you should find out the unemployment in that state and also find out how staying in that state might affect your future opportunities in other states.

If the unemployment rate is high, chances are you may not get a job or a high paying job that will help you repay your loans. There is no point in moving to a new state just to get a part of the loan paid while your struggle to get a decent job increases.

  • What Is The Cost Of Living?

The cost of living is the most important factor to be considered before you move to that state. If the cost of living is low, your overall expenses can come down and savings can increase, thereby resulting in easier loan repayment. However, if the cost of living is high, the benefit you receive from the program will be nullified by your new expenses, thus making your move futile.

  • What Are The Taxes Like?

One should always educate themselves about the various tax laws in the state they want to reside in. if the taxes are high, your net income will be lesser and the amount remaining to repay your loan will be low, every month. If the taxes are low, you can save more and repay your loans faster.

  • What Kind Of Housing Is Available?

You should always inquire about the housing facilities in the locality before you move in. if the housing is decent, comfortable and suits your standard, it is a good decision to move. On the contrary, if the housing scenario is bad, you should reconsider moving.

How Else Can You Repay Your Student Loan faster?

Want to get done with your student loans as soon as possible? Here are some ways-

  • Create a long term plan for your finances and budget accordingly. This way you can plan on how much to save in order to pay off the loan.
  • Make more payments in shorter period. If you have a well paying job, pay every two weeks or combine two payments into one. This will reduce your term and also save you some interest.
  • Pay off the high interest or private student loans first. This will help you save on the interests.
  • Consolidate your loans and choose a federal student loan that suits your needs.
  • Create an automatic savings account and save more.
  • Start earning early. Get a part time job as you study.

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