Organizations Looking For Workers Target Students Saddled With Debt
If you're struggling to pay back your student loans, there are a few programs that can help lessen the load. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
How far are you willing to go to pay off your student loans? How about Niagara Falls?
The city needs a young workforce and Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo saw a solution to two problems.
"They have a student loan debt. We have a young professional debt," he says. "We want to put those two together."
Under his Downtown Housing Incentive Program, recent grads who relocate to the city's downtown area for two years will be reimbursed for two years' worth of payments on their Stafford Loan, up to a maximum of $7,000. Grads are not required to stay beyond those two years but officials hope they will.
"This is a call to all college graduates from anywhere around the country that we really want you to be part of our city," Piccirillo says.
Other states and municipalities, such as Kansas and Detroit, are offering similar incentives. Looking for a something even further off the beaten path? Try the Peace Corps.
"We find a lot of people who join the Peace Corps are saddled with a bit of debt," says James Kostenblatt, the regional recruitment supervisor for the Northeast Peace Corps office.
In addition to receiving a stipend, Kostenblatt says volunteers could see their Perkins loan partially canceled.
"For each year that your serve, 15 percent of your Perkins Loan, the principle of your Perkins Loan, will be canceled," he says. "So if you serve the full two years, that's 30 percent of the principle of your Perkins Loan that is canceled."
Another organization, Teach for America, offers similar benefits, including a forbearance option and an education reward of up to roughly $11,000 for two years of teaching.
Speaking of teaching, that's just one of several professions eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. To qualify, you need to work 10 years in a public service job and make 10 years' worth of student loan payments under the extended income based or income contingent repayment plans.
"The payment term can go well over 25 years if necessary," said Michael Turner with the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. "So if you've extended your repayment period that long and you've made the first 120 payments, the government will forgive the remaining balance, principal and interest."
For more information, visit studentaid.ed.gov.