How Volunteering Can Help Pay Off Student Loans – Credible

Volunteering can help you learn skills and make connections while giving back to the community — and it can also help you pay off your student loans.
Emily Guy Birken

Read more” > Emily Guy Birken Edited by Read more” > Jared Hughes
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Volunteering your time is a great way to give back and feel connected with your community — but those aren’t the only benefits of becoming a volunteer. A number of government and private not-for-profit volunteer opportunities also help you pay off your student loans while you generously donate your time.
Here’s what you need to know about volunteer programs that help pay off student loan debt:

The first few years after college can be a tough financial time for many recent graduates — especially those who are carrying student loan debt. It can be hard to find a job in your preferred field and at a salary that works for your needs. Even if you’re able to land a post-college job in your field, you may still be struggling to make ends meet — and hustling after hours with a second job may seem like the only way forward.
Volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community, learn important skills, make connections in your field, and potentially pay off your student loan debt. This can be a bigger win for you financially and career-wise than simply taking a second job to pay down your debt.
Both government and private not-for-profit programs can offer their volunteers a payment toward their student loan debt after the volunteers have fulfilled the eligibility requirements — generally a number of hours or time served.
Some government programs also allow full-time volunteers to put their loans on forbearance during the volunteer stint, and may even repay the accrued interest at the end of the volunteer period.
Any payments you make on your student loans will go toward the principal, since your loan isn’t currently accruing interest. That means you’ll get more bang for your volunteer buck if you’re able to take advantage of a volunteer student loan payment program before the end of 2022.
Read More: Student Loan Repayment Calculator: Estimate Your Payoff Date

A variety of programs are available that offer to pay off the student loans of volunteers, and you may want to research volunteer opportunities to find the program that will be the best fit for your situation.
Here are some popular programs available across the country that may work for you and your interests:
Check Out: The Complete List of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

While volunteering can potentially help you build your skills and network while also providing a path to student loan payoff, it is by no means the only way to reduce your student loan debt. If you’re a recent college graduate, you may also want to look into refinancing your student loans to lower your debt burden.
Refinancing student loans is a process where you take out a new, single loan that you use to pay off your previous student loans. This will give you a single monthly payment under just one loan servicer, rather than having to keep track of multiple loans, servicers, and terms. Refinancing can often reduce your interest rate or your repayment term, thereby saving you money over the life of the loan.
See Also: Student Loan Refinance Calculator: Should I Refinance?
The student loan consolidation companies in the table below are Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from all of them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting rates is free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and your personal information is not shared with our partner lenders unless you see an option you like.
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures
Emily Guy Birken is a Credible authority on student loans and personal finance. Her work has been featured by Forbes, Kiplinger’s, Huffington Post, MSN Money, and The Washington Post online.
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