How To Have Your Student Loans Paid Off For You

How To Have Your Student Loans Paid Off For You

Use this guide to help you navigate through the world of student loans.

Summer is at its end and the fall semester has just begun, this means a few things. First being that some of us have taken out more student loans to pay for the semester. Second is that a few of the lucky ones will be enjoying their first college-free semester but either way the woes of student loans float over our heads. There are currently over 43 million Americans that hold student debt. This is larger than 201 countries population, including our northern neighbor Canada by several million.

Below is a cheat sheet to understand the world of student loans and how to go about choosing the best repayment plan for you. If you are lucky, you may even qualify for your loan to be paid FOR YOU!

Subsidized vs Unsubsidized loans

This is where it can get a bit confusing. There are two different types of federal loans--direct subsidized and direct unsubsidized. Although they are very similar the difference between these two is very important. Subsidized loans are loans that the government pays the interest on while you are in and shortly after you finish school. Unsubsidized loans are loans that the interest is not being “subsidized” meaning there is accruing interest.

Federal Programs

Now that we have some of the terminology out of the way let’s move on to federal programs loans. Student Loans is an online loan information source that has compiled a calculator that helps you better understand the world that is student loans. Below I calculated my pre-interest loan to help you get a better idea of the following federal programs.

Standard Repayment Plan

This is the standard plan that you will be enrolled in if you do not choose any other option. This is the most common repayment method that requires minimum payments of $50 for up to 10 years. This option has the lowest overall interest accruation but requires higher due payments.

Graduated Repayment Plan

This payment plan is very similar to the standard but works off of a graduated system. This is a 10 year plan where every two years the payment increases until the loan is paid off. This plan results in a slightly higher accrued interest rate. This program is good for anyone who assumes they will have a steadily increasing income.

Pay As You Earn / Revised Pay As You Earn (PAYE/REPAYE)

This payment plan is very different from the two previous plans. Under this plan monthly payments are capped at 10% of your income after taxes and deductions. Instead this payment plan is a 20 year payment plan which means you will pay higher interest in the long run. You will also have to prove financial hardship in order to partake in this program. Some of the pros to this program is that after 20 years the remaining amount may be excused. This is especially true for those who work in public service or teaching.

Income Based Repayment (IBR)

This payment plan is the second payment program that is based off of your income. Similar to the PAYE programs, to qualify you must prove financial hardship. Each year your payment plan will be readjusted but capped at 15% of your discretionary income and family size for up to 25 years. If you have a job in public service then there is a possibility after 10 years of ontime payments your loan can be forgiven. However if you do not send the needed information annual on time then you will be reverted back to the standard repayment plan.

Income-Contingent Payment (ICP)

This program is a bit more confusing, however it is very similar to the previous income based plans. What makes this plan a bit more complicated is that there are two methods for calculating payments. The first method is a capped amount of 20% of your monthly discretionary income. The second is a 12-year payment plan that is multiplied by a certain income percentage. The payment plan is determined by whichever is less. This plan is good for those who do not qualify for PAYE/REPAYE or IBR but will still result in a higher interest payment over the 12 years compared to 10.

*Loan Forgiveness Programs*

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you are a teacher than you may qualify for this program. To qualify you must be teaching full-time in a low-income school district for five consecutive years. If these requirements are met up to $17,500 may be forgiven. If you are interested in reading more check out Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

To qualify for this forgiveness program you must have a public service job. As as secondary requirement you must have made 120 loan payments. If both of these are met, then the remaining balance may be forgiven. This program can be used alongside with some but not all of the previous payment plans. To find out more go to Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge

This program is for those who work in public service or are employed in certain occupations.

Some of these occupations include:
Volunteer in the Peace Corps
Member of the U.S. armed forces
Nurse or medical technician
Law enforcement or corrections officer
Head Start worker
Child or family services worker
Professional provider of early intervention services

What makes this program different from prior forgiveness programs is that a percentage of the loan may be canceled for each year of service. These are all dependent on the career worked, but some will be fully forgiven while others have a cap on the percentage. For more information please visit Forgiveness-Cancellations.

*New York State Programs*

Get Off Your Feet (GOYF)

This is NYS newest forgiveness program that will pay up to 24 monthly payments for you. To qualify for this program you must also qualify for either PAYE/REPAYE or IBR.

If qualifications are met then a second set of qualifications must also be met:
-be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months
-have graduated from a NYS high school or received a NYS high school equivalency diploma
-have earned an undergraduate degree from a college or university located in NYS in or after December 2014
-have earned no higher than a bachelor’s degree at the time of application
-apply for this program within two years of receiving an undergraduate degree.
-have a primary work location in NYS, if employed
-have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000
-be current on all federal or NYS student loans
-be current on the repayment of any NYS award

These 24 payments will be based of the IBR or PAYE/REPAYE payment plan however you will be required to pay taxes on this amount. This program is perfect for those who have not found a sustainable career and are currently residing in New York. If you are interested in finding out more visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of

Following this guide should help you decide which is best for you, or at the very least have a better understanding of the world of student loans.

Cover Image Credit: PittBusinessReview

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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