Congrats, grad – you’ve made it through college! You’re finally ready to start or continue your career with a beautiful new degree framed on your wall. The stress of assignment due dates is over, only to be replaced by loan repayment due dates.

Student loan debt can be a huge burden, and it lasts for years. Is there hope for student loan debt forgiveness? Read on to learn about ways you can pay back and even reduce your student loans.

Payment Plans

Most people get out of US student loan debt by following the payment plans set up by their loan servicers. You pay the money back, plus interesting, every month for a certain amount of years – most often 10 for a standard plan.

A graduated plan will start out with a lower rate, but you’ll end up paying greater monthly payments over time. This plan is helpful if you’re planning to move up to higher and higher paying jobs over your career.

Extended payment plans have lower monthly payments, but you’ll be paying them back for longer. This means you’ll also be paying much more in interest.

One way to make it easier and faster to pay back your loans is to consolidate your different federal and private loans into one. It doesn’t reduce the amount you pay overall, but it can help you stay organized and on track. You’ll be much less likely to miss a payment if you consolidate your student loan.

Get Scholarships

You may be thinking – hold on, scholarships are for preventing student loan debt, not getting out of it. How could a scholarship help me after I’ve graduated?

Good news: you don’t have to be a current student to qualify for scholarships! There are scholarships and grants you can get for loan repayment!

Some of them are career-specific grant programs, but plenty of them are open to everyone looking to pay off their debt. Many are no-essay sweepstakes as well. Even parents who paid for their child’s college can apply for these scholarships.

Cancellation Programs

Working in certain careers for a set number of years can qualify you to partially or fully cancel student loan debt. For instance, teachers working in a low-income school for five consecutive years can get up to 17,500 of their debt canceled.

Other service jobs can also cancel your debt. These include public services like law enforcement, public safety, and some non-profit jobs. 

Doctors and nurses also have several options available to them. Take a look at these tips to find more ways a physician can get student loan debt relief.

Check With Your Employer

Some employers have programs that will pay some of your college fees if you go to school while you work for them. In fact, Starbucks offers a full degree program for its employees.

If you’ve already graduated, there are companies that will help with repayment as well.

Get Out of Student Loan Debt Today

You did something great for yourself by going to college – keep being great by tackling your student loan debt! There are plenty of ways you can ease the burden and still lead the life you want. Find the strategy that works for you, and get started paying off those debts now!

Looking for more tips on personal finance? This site has a page dedicated to money, finance, and business that you should check out now!