Last updated on May 9th, 2022 at 06:03 pm
It might feel like a losing battle if you’re a working single mom with student loans: trying to pay bills, make payments on student debt, and save money for emergencies, all on one income.
But what if there were a way to change your situation? Whether you’re in college or you’re paying for your child’s education, we’re going to share a few tips that might help you improve your finances.
Single Mom With Student Loans? Here Are 5 Tips to Pay Them Off Faster
1. Apply for Private and Federal Assistance Programs
Not only are there government channels for federal aid to students, like the need-based Federal Pell Grant, but there are also private grant programs available to single mothers.
If you’ve finished school and are an entrepreneur, look into The Amber Foundation. They give away a $10,000 Amber Grant every month to a woman entrepreneur, and an additional annual $25,000 Amber Grant to one of the preceding 12 monthly Amber Grant winners!
Make sure you look into the federal government’s Pay As You Earn Plan. This is a repayment plan with monthly payments that are generally equal to 10% of your discretionary income (not total income).
You can visit Soroptimist to learn about the Live Your Dream scholarship. The Live Your Dream Awards offer three levels of cash awards. Eligible applicants can submit their application between August 1st and November 15th.
Ultimately, a Live Your Dream Awards finalist has the potential receive up to $16,000 to help offset tuition costs, purchase books, get transportation, or find reliable childcare so she can worry less about how to pay her bills and focus on reaching her dreams.
Six educational projects in the form of grants, scholarships and loans are available at PEO International. And, Emma Johnson’s Wealthy Single Mommy site is also offering a limited number of grants every month.
Benefits.gov can help with financial assistance for day-to-day living. There is also a TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program that can help single mothers. And, check into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Assistance Program for low-income families.
2. Research Loan Forgiveness
Some student loans are eligible for forgiveness, consolidation, or discharge.
Keep in mind, however, only certain loans are eligible for forgiveness:
- Non-federal loans are not eligible
- Loans given to for-profit colleges may be eligible
- Certain teachers can have some federal loans forgiven if they teach for five years at a qualifying school
- If you work for a federal, state, local, tribal government, or certain non-profit organizations, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- You may qualify for forbearance (but not forgiveness) with the “Cares Act”
- If your school closed after you enrolled, you may be eligible for a loan discharge
- If you have become disabled permanently, certain loans can be discharged
- If you go bankrupt, in some specific cases, you can qualify for a loan discharge
- If you had federal student loans and work in a low-paying field, you may qualify for a repayment plan based on your income (IDR program)
The Biden Administration recently took action to cancel some student debt with specific criteria. You’ll want to follow these developments to see if the criteria expands for which loans can be forgiven.
3. Refinance Your Student Loan for Better Rates
Stafford Loans, also called Direct Loans, are federal government student loan programs with manageable interest rates. These are always preferable to private, higher-interest loans.
But even if you don’t qualify for federal Stafford loans, you can still look into a private lender refinance plan. No, it doesn’t get rid of the debt, but it can give you a much-needed boost in income by lowering or deferring interest rates to a more manageable level.
As an example, you can refinance student loan debt with companies like SoFi, who can give you quotes on fixed and variable rate loans to see if this makes sense for you.
4. Increase Your Income
Increasing your income sounds wonderful, but as many can testify, it’s not easy to do. Working a second job is likely not feasible, especially when you consider childcare costs, and balancing home and work life. But there are ways to increase your income, without getting a second job.
You could adjust W-4 holdings to have less tax withheld from your paycheck too. As a single person with a dependent child, your taxes likely aren’t high, but you will want to consult a tax professional, or calculate if this is a wise move.
If you can find a new job that pays more, of course, consider making a move. There are even companies who will reimburse tuition costs.
You may also want to think about ways to make passive income as a way to pay down student loans. You can look into selling products in your spare time on Etsy or eBay . There are some very good ideas for a single mom with student loans in this article that discusses ways to make extra cash.
Keep Your Eyes on the End Goal
If you’re a single mom with student loans, there is help available. You just have to do your homework to find it. If one institution can’t help, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Whether you’re going back to college or saving for your child’s future, perseverance is the key to success!Are You a Single Mom With Student Loans? Here Are 4 Tips to Pay Them Off Faster | #personalfinance #studentloans Click To Tweet