Help with student debt: let’s get creative!
Em here today. I’m talking about getting help with student debt today, it’s been getting a lot of news time lately, hasn’t it?! It’s a topic closer to my heart than I’d like, I’ve got more than NZ$50K in student debts myself. I’m chipping away at it though, slowly but surely….That lucky Andy, he doesn’t owe a cent!
I read some stats that blew my mind today. One third of people aged 18-35 have student debt, the average (in the US) is around $26k. But the older you are, the higher your average is: the average debt for those in their 30’s is a mind-bending $69k! Perhaps I shouldn’t complain too loudly about my 50 then……
I’m lucky here in New Zealand
My student loan is all sorted out by the government. It is totally interest free (unless I leave the country – and if you’ve been to NZ you’ll know it’s too pretty to want to live anywhere else) and deductions automatically come out of my wages. Sure that’s annoying, but hey. I don’t have to think about it, there are no penalties, and I can put my money to our other debts that do cost us interest, like our mortgage.
Imagine my surprise
When I found out all the palaver that goes on in the USA with federal student debts. Man! It sounds like a really confusing thing to manage. There are so many payment options and loan terms. There is debt forgiveness, there is all sorts of stuff going on.
Let’s get the boring bit out of the way
Just in case you really need help getting your books straight with the government, before we move onto the fun thing you can do to help your student debt I just wanted to share a wee video you might find helpful:
That video is from https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans in case you need more of a hand with that stuff.
Now for some awesome, creative ways to sort your student debt
What if you could reduce your debt by playing an online game?! That just sounds crazy, right? Wrong. It’s a thing!
Givling is an online trivia game. It’s crowd funded, and the aim of it is to pay off student debt and make the winners of the game millionaires. What a cool idea. How it works is that players pay $0.50 to join a team of 3 (teams are randomly assigned), who then answer true or false questions. The more you get right, the further up the ranks you go. And if your team has the highest number of correct answers at the end of the round, you win money. There are also daily prizes for the best team of the day.
What’s even better is you don’t have to play Givling to benefit from it. You can just sign up to add your loan to their queue to get paid off.
Zerobound describes itself as “a crowd funded platform to help volunteers reduce debt while helping communities”.
Basically, if you are a volunteer doing some cool stuff, you can sign up for Zerobound. You’ll then be sponsored to do your volunteer work, and the money goes towards paying off your student loan.
I really love the idea of this, you give something to the world, and you get something in return. So awesome! The more inspiring you can be with your volunteer work, the more likely it is that people will want to sponsor you.
And lucky last…
Get yourself some more money! Like we keep saying ’til we’re blue in the face. If you can generate more income, you can get rid of all your debts quicker.
I wrote an article about how to ask for a pay rise at work just the other day. Imagine if you were able to negotiate a rise of $2 grand per year. Say you’re 30 years old now. That’s an extra $20k by the time you’re 40! Still too scared to schedule that meeting?
The other option, of course, is to take matters into your own hands, and create your own online business. That’s what Andy and I are focusing our energy on, and boy are we having fun, too. Check out our top tip to get started, and don’t look back.
Have you got a student debt horror story, or an experience with Givling or zerobound to share? Make sure you tell us about it, we love to hear from you!
image by CollegeDegrees360, CC 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/cEJChm