Organizations looking for workers target students saddled with debt
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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,” said Piccirillo. “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 two years worth of payments on their Stafford Loan, up to a maximum of $7,000. You are not required to stay beyond those two years, but officials hope you 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,” said Piccirillo.
Other states and municipalities, like 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,” said James Kostenblatt, Regional Recruitment Supervisor for Northeast Peace Corps.
In addition to receiving a stipend, Kostenblatt says volunteers could see their Perkins loan partially canceled.
“For each year that your serve 15% of your Perkins Loan, the principle of your Perkins Loan, will be canceled,” said Kostenblatt. “So if you serve the full two years, that's 30% 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.
And speaking of teaching, that is just one of several professions eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
To qualify, you need to work ten 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 from NYS 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, principle and interest.”