According to The Project on Student Debt, 7 out of 10 who graduated college last year had an average loan debt of a whopping $29,000. You could walk into your local Toyota dealership and most likely walk away with at least a shiny new Camry for that sum. Some of the highest loan amounts were from states such as New Hampshire, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. With these large sums accompanying these degrees, many students are asking themselves how they can possibly skim some off that bill.
Where you choose to live may play a part in that. The Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ) program give those the opportunity to get a loan break by setting up residency in one of their designated boondocks. For instance, in exchange for living in one of 54 rural counties in bountiful Kansas, recent college grads get up to $3,000 per year (for a maximum of five years). Other cities that have this program are Niagara Falls, New York and Trenton, New Jersey. Niagara Falls gives almost $7,000 over two years to some grads who live there. Want more forgiveness? Pick your profession carefully. Many professions in health care and education (in certain sectors and neighborhoods), for instance offer large forgiveness programs. Be careful to meet the requirements though. Some programs require longer commitments to get that payout.
The student loan deluge doesn’t seem to be abating. However, there are unique ways to get a break. But don’t blow it all in one place. The average income in Niagara Falls, NY is about $20,000 less that the rest of New York State. It’s easier to get a parking space there than in Manhattan, though.