<![CDATA[FI TRAVELGUY - Student Loans]]>Wed, 30 Dec 2020 21:44:26 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[22 Companies That Help Pay For Tuition]]>Mon, 13 Jul 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://fiwiththetravelguy.com/student-loans/22-companies-that-help-pay-for-tuition
While going through college I always held at least one job but I was never smart enough to look if there was a way to make money while my employers helped with my tuition.

I ended up racking up a lot of student loan debt that I got some loan forgiveness for and managed with a strict budget

Here is a list of some of the best opportunities I found to have your job help pay for your college!
If you aren't having luck getting any of these jobs or don't like them here is where to look for scholarships and the best websites to start!

If you want to make extra money I have an ultimate list of side hustles here and my favorite side hustle here.

1. UPS 

UPS will provide full and part time workers up to $5,250 per year. This total will max out at $25,000 over your lifetime and can begin as soon as you start work! Yes, this means you can work 12-15 hours a week as a package handler and get tuition assistance.

2. Home Depot

Home Depot offers part-time hourly employees up to $1,500 per year, full-time hourly employees up to $3,000 per year, and salaried employees up to $5,000 per year. Half of their reimbursement goes toward books and course fees, and the other half covers tuition-related fees.

Approved courses can help employees working toward an Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, or Technical degree. 

3. Publix

PUBLIX employees with at least six months of continued work and an average of 10 hours per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement. You can use the money for not only traditional degree programs, but also some individual courses and online programs. If you are enrolled in a four-year college or university you can get up to $3,200 annually, with a lifetime limit of $12,800 for the 15 undergraduate degree programs that qualify. Look into what qualifies as "other majors may be approved if related to an associates' current position or established career path."

If you take undergraduate courses at a two-year community college, technical program or individual course program you can get up to $1,700 annually, with a lifetime limit of $3,400.

4. Wells Fargo

WELLS FARGO offers several scholarships to children of employees, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each. In addition, they offer their employees up to $5,000 in tuition reimbursement annually, for eligible tuition expenses.

5. Starbucks

STARBUCKS employees who have worked for the company for at least 3 months, averaged 20 hours per week at any company-operated store and don't have a bachelor’s degree yet are eligible for The Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP). The plan offers all eligible U.S. employees the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s top-ranked online degree program. Employees with get full tuition coverage through graduation and have 80 online degree programs to choose from. Shout out to my undergraduate alma mater, ASU!

Bonus: If the employee happens to be a military member or veteran, Starbucks will offer the same SCAP benefit to a qualifying family member of their choice — aka send your child to college for free!

6. Verizon

VERIZON offers full-time employees $13,250 a year towards a degree or certificate to help further their career with the company. If you work part-time you can get up to $8,000 a yearYour immediate family members also qualify for up to $2,500 a year, which is awesome!

7. Bank of America

BANK OF AMERICA offers employees who have been employed for six months and work a minimum of 20 hours a week up to $5,250 per calendar year for both undergraduate and graduate programs. They do have stipulations to how relevant the course is to your field. 

8. Amazon

After a year of work Amazon’s Career Choice program will pre-pay up to 95% of your tuition and fees if you earn a degree or certificate in an in-demand occupation. This would be things like nursing, aircraft mechanics, and computer-aided design - It doesn’t even have to be Amazon related!

The classes are offered on site at Amazon to make your transition into your next job easier. 
They’ll also reimburse you for up to $12,000 of all your tuition, textbooks, and fees for up to four years. 

9. Target

Target’s tuition reimbursement program will pay up to $3,000 for undergraduate coursework, $4,000 for graduate coursework, and $5,250 for MBA coursework. To be eligible you need to be employed when your course begins and when the reimbursement is processed and paid.

10. AT&T

After one year with the company, non-management employees are eligible for numerous degree programs including management, human resources, marketing, business, communications, economics and more.

AT&T will pay up to $3,500 per year for approved courses and other related expenses. Undergraduate students can receive up to $20,000 in tuition assistance in a lifetime, and those obtaining a graduate degree can receive up to $25,000 during their time with the company.

11. Smuckers

While the J.M. Smucker career & benefits page doesn't provide exact details and requirements to how their tuition assistance program works, I read somewhere else they'll reimburse up to $5,700 a year towards tuition for company-approved courses.
The do require you to maintain a “B” or higher to get the reimbursement.

12. FedEx

Glassdoor says FedEx offers part-time employees up to $2,500 annually and full-time employees up to $5,000. FedEx’s tuition assistance program must be job related and in preparation for career advancement opportunities at FedEx. 

13. Lowes

The tuition reimbursement program at Lowe’s is available to full-time employees who’ve worked with the company for at least one year. It'll cover a maximum of $2,500 a year towards tuition, lab fees, and books. You need to get a “C” or better to get reimbursed for coursework.

14. CVS

According to employees on Glassdoor, CVS’s tuition reimbursement program will pay $1,500 a year for full-time employees as long as the degree is job related.

15. Chick-fil-A

As part of their Remarkable Futures scholarship program, Chick-fil-A rewards over 6,000 team members every year with their $2,500 Leadership Scholarship.  The scholarship can be applied to any area of study at any accredited university, including two- and four-year colleges, online programs, and technical or vocational schools.

16. Best Buy

Best Buy’s tuition assistance program is for full time employees who have been working 32 hours a week for 6 months. You can be reimbursed up to $3,500 per year for approved expenses and $5,250 for graduate-level coursework.

17. Chipotle

Full-time and part-time employees at Chipotle are eligible for the educational assistance program offered through Guild Education. The program provides up to $5,250 in tuition assistance per year, or they might cover 100% depending on the degree.

​Eligible employees can work toward an Associate's and Bachelor's degree through The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University.

18. Papa John's

In partnership with Purdue University, Papa John’s Dough for Degrees tuition reimbursement program now reimburses 100% of any corporate employee’s tuition after working 90 days at 20+ hours a week. They will cover undergraduate and graduate courses in business, business administration, and information technology.

19. Fiat Chrysler

Glassdoor says any salesperson who works at a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck, or Fiat dealership will be eligible for up to $7,000 per year for tuition and fees and up to $200 in textbooks. Children of employees are also eligible to apply for a company-sponsored scholarship.

20. Apple

Apple pays up to $5,250 a year of any employees' tuition.

21.  Google

You can get up to $12,000 in tuition reimbursement per year, as long as you get a B or higher in all your courses from Google.

22. Walmart

After 90 days of employment, employees can enroll in online college classes through Live Better U–Guild Education program. Employees can take courses at any one of the following six participating universities: University of Florida, Brandman University, Bellevue University, Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global, or Wilmington University for $1.00 a day.

Walmart's college program pays the colleges directly meaning you don't need to wait for reimbursement!

Bonus Options

Resident Assistant - These jobs can be competitive and vary depending on the college but may provide free housing or tuition.

Graduate Degrees - Companies like JetBlue, Farmers, and  Fidelity offer aid for those who are trying to get a Master's.


Listed above are some EXCELLENT options that I wish were around, or I knew about, when I was in college. I would have been able to not only earn money but also got some tuition help as well. If you combined this with looking for scholarships you will be in a good situation! 
<![CDATA[Where To Look For College Scholarships]]>Mon, 29 Jun 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://fiwiththetravelguy.com/student-loans/where-to-look-for-college-scholarships
When it comes to paying for college my biggest regret is not trying harder to get a free in-state scholarship. My second is not going all out in trying to get other scholarships.  I applied to a couple but didn't have a lot of options and wasn't chosen.

I didn't know where to look or the best strategy to get them so I'm here to help so you don't have the same problem I did. 
1. Search Online
This is probably the most obvious way to go about looking for scholarships and I'm one step ahead of you and here is a whole post about where to look online
2. Talk to Community Organizations
There are community organizations in your area like KiwanisRotary, and Elks Club that you can reach out to see if they offer any scholarships. If you attend church check to see if they have anything. 

Lastly, find out if your community participates in Dollars for Scholars. Dollars for Scholars is a nonprofit charity that organizes local community-based scholarship organizations. Most of these scholarships are awarded by companies to their employees or their employees’ children, but some are open to the general public.

3. Visit Your Guidance Counselor Or Financial Aid Office
If you are still in High School stop by and talk to your guidance counselor or visit your college’s financial aid office. These are professionals who know grants and scholarships inside and out. They might know about local scholarships and grants that might aren't listed on larger online databases and have less competition.

Counselors are typically the first to be notified when new scholarships and grants are available. They might also offer to help guide you through the application process, proofread any essays, and help you submit every piece of required information.

4. Talk To Your Employer
If you’re an adult and want to go back to school there’s a chance your employer offers tuition reimbursement. This is actually how my brother got his Master of Business Administration (MBA). Talk to your company’s Human Resources department to learn if there is a program like this and if you’re eligible.

If there is a program make sure to get the details upfront like what courses are eligible. Some companies only offer tuition reimbursement for classes or programs directly related to your current role, while others have no limitations on eligible courses.

You'll want to figure out how they provide reimbursement also, do they pay up front, or will you have to pay first and then get reimbursed?

You can also ask your HR department if they offer any employer-sponsored scholarships for children of employees.


The most important thing about looking for scholarships is just taking action. Make sure you are looking online, talking to employers, and community organizations. Don't make the mistake I did and not look hard enough.
If you are looking for additional resources here are some books that can help!

​**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you and allows me to keep the lights on around here. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ​​ ​​​​​​​
<![CDATA[The 9 Best Websites To Find College Scholarships]]>Mon, 15 Jun 2020 15:20:44 GMThttp://fiwiththetravelguy.com/student-loans/the-9-best-websites-to-find-college-scholarships
If you are looking for scholarships for college the first place you'll look is the same place as anything else, online. Here are the best places to start!

  1. Zinch is a resource provided by Chegg and since it's one of the newest to the scholarship game it has the most appealing platform. The service is free and has provided more than 25,000 different scholarships worth more than $1 billion. Once you create your account you can browse for scholarships that are relevant to you. They allow you to use your zip code or cumulative GPA in high school to find scholarships that are a fit and let you review deadlines and submission requirements. 

  2. CollegeScholarships.org allows you to search through over 23,000 scholarships and grants by specific categories that you may qualify for.

  3. Scholarships.com has more than 3.7 million scholarships with a total value of more than $19 billion in their database. The site is free and easy to use and once you've become a member you can choose which scholarships you are most interested in. They update things every few months so you can always check back! 

  4. FastWeb.com is another free resource and provides access to more than 1.5 million in scholarships and a total of $3.4 billion.  You can browse scholarships based on amount, type, or requirements before submitting an entry. They also boast about not selling or distributing your personal and private information to another third-party without your permission which is nice I guess.. 

    Their data bases are updated every 24 hours which means they are the most updated scholarship search engine. With your account you can receive emails whenever a new scholarship that meets your criteria is available.  

  5. FinAid.org is one of the most well-known resources for information about scholarships and financial aid. They don't have a live search for scholarships like the other sites but they will provide authenticity of scholarships before submitting your personal information. They also provide insight into potential scholarship scams and tax liabilities you may face with different scholarships. 

  6. College Board is one of the first educational-based organizations and today has turned into a massive database of scholarships worth more than $3 billion. New scholarships are added annually but they make updates or changes on a monthly basis. They also offer a book version if you are looking for a paper copy!

  7. ScholarshipMonkey.com is a free online database where you can compare more than 4,000 scholarships and see how they've given $3 billion worth of scholarships since its launch. You'll want to opt-out of sharing your information and personal data by requesting your information be stored privately by sending a handwritten or typed letter. 

  8. SallieMae is not just for loans anymore as they have become a resource for people looking to find scholarships through Scholarship Search by SallieMae. They have shared more than $18 billion worth in scholarships since they started providing resources and opportunities. The site allows you to find ideal scholarships based on your field of study, areas of interest, or the type of college or university you have in mind.

    Once you become a member you'll get access to the scholarship searching tool, college-planning calculator tool, and a letter analyzer to look over what you'll be sending to colleges and universities you might go to. 

  9. The U.S. Department of Labor has a free scholarship search tool that has more than 7,500 scholarships, grants, and other financial awards.

This isn't really a website but MyScholly is an app that is helpful also!


Luckily all these services are free which means if you are having to pay to search for scholarships it may be a scam or better options are out there. Applying for scholarships can be daunting and time consuming but coming from someone who thought I didn't want to spend the time I wish I had! 
<![CDATA[10 Best Ways to Avoid Student Loans]]>Mon, 01 Jun 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://fiwiththetravelguy.com/student-loans/10-best-ways-to-avoid-student-loans

​The average student loan debt in America is currently $31,172 per person and takes 10-30 years to pay it off. I'm not sure how an average on years is that wide but it sounds miserable regardless.

​I was one of those people but with about triple the loans.  I ended up having over $80,000 that took me 5 years to pay off through loan forgiveness and a strict budget.

If this doesn't sound like something you want to be apart of you are in the right place because here are the best ways to avoid having student loan debt!
 1. Do Well In High School
This is pretty obvious and may not be all that helpful if you are already in college or graduated. But, many schools will give scholarships based on your grades and extracurricular activities while in high school. Do the best you can in school and you may end up getting a scholarship for academics,  music, art, theater, or sports. 

This means you'll also want to prepare for the SAT or ACT to you get the highest score possible. Heck maybe even take it a few times if that helps. Don't be like me, thinking I was too good to study and only taking it once.

This may be my biggest regret when it comes to student loans. I could have studied harder in school and easily gotten some scholarship money. I even had the option of getting a full ride to any in-state university if I excelled on a state test. I  was a few point off but didn't study or never retook it. Don't be like me, try hard in school!

2. Earn College Credit In Cheaper Ways
There are three ways to earn college credit without having to pay the hefty credit fees associated with a big university.

  1. Take Advanced Placement (AP) classes in High School
    Depending on the school you can take AP classes in subjects like chemistry, biology, foreign languages, computer science, environmental science, calculus, history, economics, psychology, English literature, art, music and more. If your high school offers AP courses, take as many as you qualify for and be sure to take the AP exam offered at the end of the year.

    Although the rules and requirements change between colleges, many offer students course credit if you get an AP test score of 4 or higher. This means you may get to skip out on things like introductory math, science, language, or writing courses.

    Before you do all that make sure the credit will count though by checking here. 

  2. Dual Enrollment
    Some high schools allow you to take a dual enrollment class which gives you high school and college credit. I was able to do this and skipped taking an introductory English and Math class while in college. 

  3. Take College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams
    This is basically an AP/IB exam for college students. You are able to take a test for about $85 to prove that you understand and know the course material whether you've taken the class or not. Look into what your college does but in many cases, colleges charge a flat tuition amount for up to 5 or 6 classes. If you take less than that, you’ll still pay the same amount.  Check with your advisor that the credits will transfer before signing up for any tests.

3. Earn Credit At Community College
The appeal of going to a big university, or where your friends are going, is real. But you can spend one or two years at community college, earn credits, save money, and then transfer to the big school.  This will allow you to figure out what you want to do after college at a way cheaper price point. 

About 20% of my total loan debt came from my undergraduate degree and the rest came from a car loan and graduate degree. Honestly, if I could go back I think I would have still gone to the big university and applied for different scholarships or done better in high school. Community college is a good option and should be considered. 

4. Fill Out FAFSA
The  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is just that – free. Everyone should fill out a FAFSA, even if you think your family’s income is too high for the need-based financial aid because there really is no downside. You can even apply before you make a decision on schools since that might help you choose. 
Form Your Future, which is sponsored by the National College Access Network (NCAN), said more than $24 billion in financial aid goes unclaimed every year with a large chunk being from FAFSA.  Know the deadlines because each state is different. Just fill it out every year and see what happens.

A few days or weeks after you submit your FAFSA, you'll get a student aid report (SAR). Your SAR will tell you whether you qualify for a federal grant, like the Pell Grant, or if you qualify for a work-study or another federal aid program. It doesn’t tell you the actual amount of aid you qualify for since the school determines that. Since the funding each school gets varies the sooner you file your FAFSA the faster the schools can tell you which aid you qualify for. 

Grants found through FAFSA are often based on financial need and do not have to be paid back. 

5. Find Free Money
Getting money that doesn't need to be repaid or accrue interest is the dream for any college student. Scholarships and awards can be awarded for nearly anything, and there are billions of dollars out there waiting for students to apply for it. Some options will have specific requirements while others are open to every student.

Do you like horses? Video games? Volunteering? Yup, there are scholarships for that.

There is a lot of competition out there, so you’ll really need to be resourceful and creative when applying. Focus your search on scholarships to areas you’re skilled in. Or,  you can also see if any social, volunteer, or religious groups you’re associated with have scholarships to give out.

Here are some ideas of how to get that "free" money:

  • You can start with a simple Google search,  visit your financial aid officer or your high school guidance counselor. Organizations like nonprofit volunteer clubs, religious organizations, and civic groups offer scholarships to outstanding students or students who meet their criteria. Check with your bank or credit union, your parents’ employers, and organizations dedicated to the field or industry you’re interested in studying. You don't need to have a perfect GPA, test scores or be low income to qualify for scholarships. 

Military-based funding
  • Tuition assistance: Active military members can use $4,500 per year and is a great way to start or complete a degree that doesn't take away from your GI Bill.
  •  GI Bill: This is given to military members who serve over 90 consecutive days and provides up to 36 months of         education benefits. This benefit can also be passed down to dependents.

  • If you have family members or friends that want to help support your education, you can start a campaign to raise donations. You can do that with GoFundMe and/or IndieGoGo. You'll want to see if the platform takes a percentage out of the total donations raised. Donations are typically considered a “gift” and shouldn't not taxable but check about any tax obligations.

6. Work For An Employer That Covers Tuition
They estimate that 60% of employers offer some sort of tuition reimbursement and Starbucks is a great example of this.  It’s also becoming more and more common for companies to pay back some or all of their employees’ student loans. They may also pay for you to go back and get your Master's. 

Your college might have jobs on campus where your earnings go toward paying for tuition and other fees.  Other schools may have official work-study programs which may or may not be tied to a student’s field of study.  You can also check out the federal work-study program that helps students earn money to pay for school. 

While these are great option look to make sure it is worth your time. If you make minimum wage working for the school through one of these programs but can earn more elsewhere, do that.  You can also start a side hustle and here's a bunch of great ideas

7. 529 College Savings Plan
529 plans are often run by a qualified state or university. They offer tax advantages, such as no federal tax on earnings, and in some instances, state income tax deductions. The contribution limit for a 529 plan depends on the plan you choose, but it’s usually more than the $2,000 yearly limit for a Coverdell ESA.

Money you contribute to a 529 plan is meant to be used to cover the cost of tuition and other school-related expenses, such as supplies and equipment, books, and computer software.

8. Look Into Forgiveness Programs
If you have federal student loans you may qualify for a loan forgiveness program. That means you'll no longer have to pay your loans after a certain amount of time if you meet the requirements. Not every loan is eligible for forgiveness and may take years before you qualify.

Some jobs or careers offer student loan repayment or forgiveness so keep your eyes open for that. For more information about this click here

9. Accelerate Your Studies
I saved the worst idea for last. If you are enjoying college the last thing you want to do is graduate early. But, if you can stand the extra workload graduating as soon as possible is smart. You'll not only be taking out less in loans but start earning full time money faster.

You may need approval if you go crazy with the amount of credits you take but you should be able to cram in as many classes as you can handle. 

Disclaimer About Private Loans
This isn't a way to avoid student loans like the title states but is a good way to minimize it's impact.

The federal loan program allows you to 
borrow up to $5,500 from the federal direct subsidized loan program as an undergraduate and up to $20,500 from the unsubsidized direct loan program minus any subsidized amounts you receive for the same period, depending on your grade level and dependency status. For a Direct PLUS Loan, you can receive the maximum amount of the cost of college attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive. This amount is determined by the school.

Although you want to keep your borrowing low when you take out federal loans, their protection programs offers you the ability to defer payments if you lose your job or go back to school. They also have a variety of income-based repayment plans, making them preferable to private loans.

Private student loans don’t have such limits, which makes it easy to take out more than what you need. They also tend to have higher interest rates than federal loans and don’t always offer flexible repayment plans or the ability to defer your loans if you’re out of work or go back to school.

If you need to take them out it isn't the end of the world. I did for a small amount but it was also the first one I paid off since I wasn't able to defer it and had my dad as a co-signer. 


The general gist is to try and be smart before going to college by doing the best you can in high school. Get the best grade point average (GPA) and SAT/ACT scores you can. Try and get as many college credits as cheap as you can. While in college look for ways to earn "free" money and graduate as fast as possible. If you have the time start a side hustle. After college look for employers or programs to help with loan forgiveness

The moment I paid off my students loan was very anti-climatic as the lender didn't see it as quite the celebration I did but it was a great moment for me! 
<![CDATA[Do You Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness?]]>Mon, 29 Jul 2019 07:00:00 GMThttp://fiwiththetravelguy.com/student-loans/do-you-qualify-for-student-loan-forgivenessThe burden of student loans can feel smothering. And not the smothered by puppies kind, but more a giant hairy man holding a semi-truck. With this being the case, people often want to know if they can get any student loan relief.  Let's see what you qualify for!

Something to be aware of, if you are going to be asking for loan forgiveness from the government you can't refinance out of their loans. Keep that in mind before you do any kind of refinancing!
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness 
This program offers complete loan forgiveness for those who work in the public sector. This could be people working for non-profits, public school teachers or staff, government employees, doctors working in certain non-profit hospitals. Those are just a few examples.

This type of loan forgiveness requires you to make 120 qualifying payments (don't have to be consecutive), so basically 10 years of payments.  You must also be a full time employee and there is no cap on your total dollar amount of forgiveness.

Things to consider!
  1. If you choose this route, when you get your payoff it DOES NOT count as income and you won't have to pay taxes on it.
  2. In the meantime you may be able to reduce the amount you actually pay by reducing your overall income but maxing out things like a 401k, 403b, or a Health Savings Account.

If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site. 

2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Plan
This program is designed for highly effective teachers who teach full time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low income school.

With this forgiveness plan you'll be eligible for up to $17,500 if you teach math, science, or special education or $5,000 if you teach in other areas.

Things to consider.
  1. Their definition for a teacher is a person who provides direct classroom teaching, or classroom-type teaching in a nonclassroom setting. Special education teachers are considered teachers. 
  2. If this is something you are going to try and get you should make sure you work in a Title 1 school.
  3. If you choose this route, when you get your payoff it DOES NOT count as income and you won't have to pay taxes on it. 

​This is the one the I used and got the full $17,500.
If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site.

3.  Income Based Repayment
This is the first of four main income-drive repayment plans and allows you to cap your loan payment at a percentage of you monthly income, typically capped at 10% to 15%. Your loans will be fully forgiven after 20 or 25 years depending on your plan.

To be eligible, your payment must be less than what you would pay under the Standard Repayment with a 10-year repayment period. 

Things to consider
  1. This may be best for someone with a lot of student loan debt and a lower paying income.
  2. Under current tax law, this type of forgiveness would be taxed as income. Keep that in mind that you may have a larger tax bill later on. 

​​If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site.

4. Income Contingent Repayment
This is the second option for income driven repayment and also adjusts your monthly payment based of your income. You’ll either pay 20% of your discretionary income or what you’d pay on a fixed 12-year plan, whichever is less.

This plan may not lower your payments as much as others, it is the only income-driven plan available to borrowers with Parent PLUS loans. 

Things to consider
  1. If you have a Parent Plus Loan, you can apply for ICR but you have to consolidate them first. 
  2. After 25 years of on-time payments, you’ll get the rest of your loan balance forgiven
  3. Under current tax law, this type of forgiveness would be taxed as income. Keep that in mind that you may have a larger tax bill later on. 

​​If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site.

5. Pay As You Earn
This is the third option for an income driven plan and is similar to Income-Based Repayment. The difference is you may be eligible for forgiveness after a certain period of time. 

The PAYE program caps your monthly payment at 10% of your income. After the borrowers make payments for 20 years, any remaining balance becomes eligible for forgiveness.

To be eligible
, your payment must be less than what you would pay under the Standard Repayment with a 10-year repayment period. 

Things to consider
  1. As with income based repayment, your forgiven balance might be treated as taxable income.

​​If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site.

6. Revised Pay As You Earn
This is the last income driven repayment option and works similarly to Pay As You Earn. Your payments are capped at 10% of your discretionary income. Undergraduate loans are forgiven after 20 years while Graduate school loans are forgiven after 25 years.

There is no income eligibility requirement and anyone with eligible loans can apply.

Things to consider
  1. You could end up with a higher payment if your income begins to increase.

​​If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site.
This clearly has nothing to do with student loans but the topic is depressing and this is a nice picture..

​​7. Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses
Nurses with student debt have several options for forgiveness, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Perkins loan cancellation, and the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program, which pays up to 85% of a qualified nurses’ unpaid college debt, if you haven't served in the military there is also an option of joining to get relief, or some states even offer forgiveness programs.

Things to consider
  1. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness may be the most likely option, not a lot of people have Perkins loans, and the NURSE Corps program is highly competitive.
  2. At the time of this posting the Nurse Corps is not taking application but you can join their email list for them to notify you when they are.

If you think this is something you qualify for and want more information this link will take you to the official government site. 

8. Obama Student Loan Forgiveness
Be aware that there is no “Obama student loan forgiveness.” Some companies use it as a shady  way to catch your attention and charge you to enroll. If you see a company offering the "Obama Student Loan Forgiveness" think of it as an instant red flag! 
Enrolling in federal programs like income-based repayment and federal student loan consolidation is free to do on your own through the Department of Education.

9. Student loan repayment assistance programs for other careers. 
Some states have program to offer assistance to professionals in exchange for two years of service. The most common jobs are doctors, nurses, teachers, and lawyers, but some others may qualify.

Check your state’s offerings to find out if it has a loan repayment assistance program for you.

10. Military Student Loan Forgiveness and Assistance
The Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard all offer loan repayment assistance programs and not just for Army and Navy doctors, but it also helps armed forces members and veterans. 

There are things like the Army’s College Loan Repayment Program, which pays one-third of your loans every year for three years. In total, you could get up to $65,000 in aid. Another option is the Navy program also awards up to $65,000, or the National Guard contributes up to $50,000.

There are plenty of programs for military student loan forgiveness so make sure you know what you qualify for.

Student loan discharge for special circumstances. 
This isn't loan forgiveness but would be just as awesome if it happened. In rare cases borrowers can get their student loans completely canceled.

There are seven situations when you could qualify for student loan discharge:
  • Closed school discharge
  • Student loan discharge in bankruptcy
  • Loan cancellation for total and permanent disability
  • Discharge for false certification or unauthorized payment
  • Unpaid refund discharge
  • Borrower defense discharge
  • Student loan discharge due to death

If you think you could qualify or want to learn more, speak with your loan servicer.

There is also one circumstance when you may be able to get cancellation.

Perkins Loan Cancellation - Borrowers with federal Perkins loans can have up to 100% of their loans canceled if they work in a public service job for five years. In many cases, approved borrowers will see a percentage of their loans discharged incrementally for each year worked. The Perkins loan teacher benefit is for teachers who work full time in a low-income public school or who teach qualifying subjects, such as special education, math, science or a foreign language.

Hopefully you can find something that can work for you to get some help because student loans are the worst!
<![CDATA[Should You Refinance My Student Loans?]]>Mon, 15 Jul 2019 07:00:00 GMThttp://fiwiththetravelguy.com/student-loans/should-i-refinance-my-student-loansWhether you have student loans or not at this point you've received an email, call, or ad about refinancing your student loans. If you have student loans the option of refinancing may seem like a good idea, let's find out if it is?
What It Means To Refinance?
The most simple way to explain refinancing is a company will pay off the balance of your current loans so you can take out a new loan with them for the same amount at a lower interest rate. The reason a company would do that is because they want to collect on your interest payments for the next 10 - 20 years.  A classic win - win. Well kind of.. you still have to pay off your loans.
When It Makes Sense to Refinance
Before we even look into whether you should refinance, if you are going to try and get student loan forgiveness know the guidelines of that program. I have a post about student loan forgiveness so you can check those out. 

The concept of refinancing is great because you should be lowering your current interest rate, meaning you have a lower monthly payment. Plus, most companies will offer a sign up bonus of a couple hundred dollars and you should be using that toward your loans. Don't be an idiot!

If you have looked at the student loan forgiveness programs and you don't qualify or it doesn't look appealing you should refinance. 

If you have less than $50,000 in student loan debt or have 1.5x your income, while working in the private sector (a for profit company), it will be best to refinance.  You'll need to become more frugal (don't get a car payment, choose happy hours over fancy dinners) and aggressively pay off you loans. It will also help if you refinance every couple of years. Get a 10 year plan with a sign up bonus, then again at 7 years with a bonus and repeat. 

If the balance is between 1.5x and 2x you need to weigh your options on which would be best for you.

For those student loan debts that are above 2x your income, with no potential of significant growth above inflation, you may want to look into the 20 year student loan forgiveness plan. 
When You Shouldn't Refinance
If you are going to apply for student loan forgiveness DO NOT refinance your loans. 

If the government is going to give you loan forgiveness they want to be the ones receiving your interest payments in the mean time.

I applied for, and got, student loan forgiveness which meant I had to suffer through interest rates from  6% all the way up to one at 7.9%. Naturally those were the first ones I targeted when reducing my balance. 

Hopefully this helps and if you have any questions feel free to reach out!