Programs and tactics to save you money when student loan repayments resume
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The clock is ticking for student loan borrowers– in less than two weeks, they’ll have to start repaying their debts. While that may be intimidating for many, there are some programs that could help get it done faster.
Thousands of open spots remain in the SAVE Repayment plan for people with student debt in Kansas and Missouri to lower their interest and monthly payments. But there are also multiple forgiveness plans offered by the state government certain borrowers can take advantage of.
Since beginning their senior year at UMKC, Karine Robinson and Nicolette Landrum have been thinking about how they’ll make student loan payments on an already tight budget.
“I actually started sitting down with a financial person and we started factoring in student loans,” Robinson said. “And so when that time comes I feel like I’ll be a little more prepared.”
“I owe between $30-$40,000 and my plan is to just slowly pay it back as much as I can,” Landrum added.
There are relief plans offered at the state level for college graduates. In Kansas, those in the healthcare industry can have as much as $26,000 of their debt forgiven through the Kansas Bridging Plan, and State Loan Repayment Program.
Missouri also offers similar programs for the medical field. Including PRIMO Student Loan Program, and the Missouri Health Professional Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
“The Missouri ones are very niche, basically if you’re in a certain career field specifically healthcare,” Robert Farrington, CEO of The College Investor explained. “Also law you might have the opportunity to get your student loans forgiven if you practice in an area of high need.”
No matter what you do for a living, anyone with loans through the Department of Education is eligible for the SAVE Repayment Program. SAVE bases your monthly payments on your income, at a 5% rate for undergrads, which is half what it used to be. Any debt less than $12,000 would also be forgiven after 10 years of making consistent payments.
Research from College Investor shows only about 10% of student loan borrowers in Kansas and Missouri have applied, despite half of all borrowers in the nation predicted to qualify.
“You only pay a portion of your income above 225% of your state’s poverty line,” Farrington stated. “So for borrowers who are single, that means your monthly student loan payment could be $0 a month if you’re making less than $38,000 a year.” Farrington went on to say any borrower responsible for a family of four would also not have to make any payments if their annual income doesn’t exceed $68,000.
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