People often tell others to do what you love and to not worry about the pay you receive in return.
But at some point, whether you just graduated college or have been in the workforce for a few years, you may become disenchanted with your job options if you’re paying back student loans.
Perhaps a thought you’ve had often when applying for jobs is how will I ever pay back my student loans on THAT salary? Or, should I take the job even with my student loan debt?
As you start to realize just how much student loan debt you have, you might start thinking about taking a job you don’t like to pay back your student loans.
Whether you decide to do what you love or take on a job just to pay back student loans, it’s crucial to weigh your options.
Do what you love or pay off student loans more quickly?
If you’re thinking of taking on a job just to help you pay back your student loans, there’s typically two routes you can take.
The first route involves working in a nonprofit job for 10 years in order to get your student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF).
The second route considers working at a well-paying corporate job that can provide the salary you need to ditch debt over the next few years.
Either option will get you where you need to go and can help you ditch your student loan debt, but let’s look a little closer at the pros and cons.
What if I take a nonprofit job for PSLF?
If you take on a nonprofit job just to access the PSLF program, prepare for a long journey ahead.
Devoting 10 years of your life to something you don’t love can be tough. On the other hand, working at an eligible nonprofit can ensure you get your federal student loans forgiven after 120 payments.
Here are the pros and cons of taking on a nonprofit job to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
- Can be rewarding work
- Opting for PSLF means you will be under an income-driven plan
- With an income-driven plan, your payments will be capped as a percentage of your income
- Forgiven loans will not be considered taxable income
- Committing to 10 years of nonprofit work could lead to burnout
- Your salarymay not increase that much over time
- It may be hard to transition and do what you love after 10 years
- Private student loans are not eligible for PSLF
What if I take a corporate job with better pay?
If you want your student loans gone ASAP, you may consider going the corporate route and getting a job that can pay well.
Even if it’s something you don’t love or something not in your field, it could be the best financial move to eliminate your student loans in a few years. But, if going corporate is against your values, you could be in for a miserable time.
Here are some pros and cons to consider.
- Job could pay well and provide nice benefits
- Could be good for your resume
- Can expedite your student loan repayment if you continue to live like a college student
- High paying jobs can often mean high stress
- Well-paying jobs are hard to come by
- You might be unhappy if the job is against your values and you’re doing it just for the money
Should I take the job?
When you’re burdened with student loan debt, it seems like all of your life decisions are ruled by this looming debt. Even your career. You need a job to pay back your student loans.
But forgetting the motto do what you love and opting for something else completely can leave you wondering should I take the job, just to pay back student loans?
The answer? It depends on your priorities. If you hate your student loans more than you’d hate a certain job, then working at a job to pay off debt might be worth it. However, if you will be resentful of the job, or it will take you off of your career path, then you may want to reconsider.
It’s important to weigh the financial gain versus the impact on your career in the long-term.
Do what is best for you
Career advancement coach Lauren Milligan at ResuMAYDAYsays, “I’m never in favor of a candidate taking a job that isn’t right for them because that’s not a sustainable plan.”
“I look at this in the long-term solution of career advancement, not in the short-term solution of paying bills,” she adds.
If you take on a job just to pay back student loans, once they’re paid off you may be ready to ditch that job and move on to something else. But after working in one field for a while, it may be tough to switch back and do what you love.
Milligan suggests networking in your field, so you can do what you love and pay back your student loans.
“Get professors and professionals in your chosen field to be your career advocates,” she says. “Doing these things will mean that your first job out of college will be part of your long-term strategy, rather than a write-off.”
Everyone has different goals and priorities, so it’s important to take action and do what aligns with your goals.
Before you make any moves, though, look at the short and long-term effects of your choices on both your finances and your career.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.36% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.41% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.41% – 6.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 7.89%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.38% – 6.81%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 8.19%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.60% – 9.60%6||Undergrad & Graduate|