Using grants to help pay off student loans is often overlooked by students, but doing so can help you get out of debt.
There’s no question that student debt is burdening may Americans. Every recent graduate wants to figure out how to pay off their student loans as fast as possible. But what if someone would pay a portion of that for you? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds; there are grants to help pay off student loans. Getting rid of a large or even a small part of the suffocating debt is a relief and something anybody would want to explore.
A growing number of programs offer grants to help pay off student loans for young professionals that can help them get in a better financial position. The primary matter is knowing where to look and how to get involved. Many of the grants are based on the type of work the individual does or the state they live in, but, either way, the first step is being aware of what’s available.
How to find grants to help pay off student loans
Many of the grant programs available for student loans fall under one of the following categories:
- Career-based grants
- Federal student loan forgiveness
- Student loan grants by state
- Military grants
- Nonprofit/volunteer grants
- Grants offered by private companies
If you are interested in student loan grants, your eligibility will largely depend upon which state you live in and your place of work.
The most well-known grant programs are the career-based grants that are offered mostly to public service workers. Healthcare workers, teachers, veterinarians, researchers, and lawyers could all receive student loan forgiveness grants. If you are planning to enter any of these careers, you should absolutely check into the grant options available to you.
Otherwise, search options within your state. These, too, are often based on your career but are different from state-to-state.
Applying for grants to help pay off student loans
The first step to any application is to know what you’re looking for. Based on the information above on the most likely places to find grants, search for anything applicable to your current or future circumstances.
Be aware of the grant cycles. Just like with your college applications and FAFSA applications, the process runs in cycles. Ensure you know when to apply; otherwise, you might be wasting your time by getting your application in late.
Next, you have to be aware of the important information that you will need to send in with the application. Each grant program will have its own set of requirements, but you can be assured you will need some pieces of information for any grant application. These may include the following:
- Proof of identification – A copy of a government-issued ID
- Proof of employment – Usually, a pay stub from your employer will suffice
- Proof of address – A bill of some kind that is sent to you monthly at your current residence
- Your University and proof of graduation – Your diploma or your transcripts
- Information on the loan or loans you plan to apply a grant towards
Generally, this will be the minimum required information, but needs will vary. Know exactly what you need for your application and compile everything from the start to streamline your process.
Have you or anyone you know ever received grants to help pay off student loans? What was the experience like?
Nancy Zambell has spent 30 years educating and helping individual investors navigate the minefields of the financial industry. As a lecturer and educator, Nancy has led seminars for individual investors at the National Association of Investors, Investment Expo and the Money Show. She has also taught finance, economics and banking at the college level, and has been quoted extensively in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, and BusinessWeek. Now let her give you the tools and resources, including a monthly magazine, for gaining the peace-of-mind to live comfortably now and in retirement in her Cabot Money Club.Learn More >>