But what if you could pay off student loans simply by moving? In recent years, several cities looking to boost their workforce and economy are giving student loan borrowers a deal: move to our city and we’ll help you pay off your student loans.
If you’re itching to move and don’t mind living in a quieter part of the country, consider these options.
The state of Kansas has created Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ), which include 77 counties that offer to pay your student loans up to $15,000. Borrowers receive an annual check for 20 percent of their student loan balance — up to $3,000 — for a total of five years.
There are no income requirements, though to be eligible you must not have lived in Kansas for at least five years, establish residency in an ROZ, plus hold an associates, bachelor’s, or post-graduate degree.
Interested borrowers can fill out an application, provide documentation and proof of residence, and await approval. In order to qualify, you need to remain a resident during the tax year in order to claim the student loan benefits. The downside? These student loan payments are considered taxable income.
(photo credit: Peter Zillmann)
Other cities such as Detroit are hoping to attract talent by offering housing benefits for residents. Though Detroit has been hit hard by the Great Recession and is still recovering, the city offers various incentives to certain employees in the area who can contribute to the economy.
For instance, employees who work at Compuware, DTE Energy, Marketing Associates, Quicken Loans, or Strategic Staffing Solutions can receive up to $20,000 to be used toward a purchase of their new primary residence.
Renters can take advantage of incentives as well, with the opportunity to receive a $2,500 allowance to fund an apartment in their first year, with an additional $1,000 of funding for the following year. The catch is you have to work for one of the aforementioned companies and be a new renter.
Though Niagara Falls, NY is known for its tourism, its actual population is dwindling. The city’s Community Development program hopes to boost the region’s population by offering student loan reimbursement to 20 college graduates.
Applicants must live near the historic downtown district. Borrowers can move to the area and apply for the program, which offers a student loan reimbursement of $3,500 per year for two years.
Though $7,000 is nothing to sneeze at, the cost of moving to Niagara Falls may not be worth it, as there are a lack of employment opportunities. Interested borrowers should ensure moving to the area makes financial sense outside of the possibility of receiving loan repayment assistance.
(photo credit: The Trip Blogger)
Before You Move
Before you decide to pack up your bags and move in hopes of getting some help with your student loans, there are several important factors you should consider first:
- What is the unemployment rate? Moving to a state with high unemployment may prove to be counterproductive to paying off your loans.
- What is the cost of living? Keep in mind how much it costs simply to live in a certain area. A high salary job might not mean much in a high-cost city. Look at what average salaries in your field are at Payscale.com and compare that to the cost of living using Expatistan.com.
- What is the social scene like? Are there bars, restaurants, arts, and culture? Is it good for singles or those in relationships? Whatever your situation is or interests are, do your research to see if the prospective city has something to offer you.
- What are the taxes like? Some states have high income and/or sales tax.
- What is the public transportation like? Consider whether you need a car or have easy access to quality public transportation.
- What kind of commute are you looking at? Driving long distances can negate any financial assistance you receive.
- What kind of housing is available? Some cities have competitive rental markets. Find out how easy and affordable finding a place to live will be before making a move.
Considering these important questions can help inform your decision whether to move to a new area that will help pay off your student loans.
Remember, you do need to apply and qualify for these programs, so you can’t move there and be automatically signed up. Additionally, you’ll need to stay in touch with government entities each year to stay on top of your paperwork in order to receive payment.
(feature image: Laura via Flickr Creative Commons)
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% 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 March 18, 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 0318/2019. 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 email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent 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.
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.
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 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.67% – 8.96%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|