30 ways to creatively pay off student loans

Alex Jensen, Features Editor

Sharing your friendship, sitting a pet or moving to Kansas are some of the creative ways to pay off student debt. Here are some of the top ways:

  1.     Sell photos to stock websites

It will not make a large dent in any loan debt, but microstock photography is a way to earn some additional income. The site allows anyone to upload individual images for which they can receive money, unlike traditional stock photography which relies on few professional photographers to create large banks of images. Thus, those who are creative with a camera can earn cash quickly. Even not so fantastic photographers have taken a picture that they are proud of. A single upload can bring in money. For example, Shutterstock pays between $0.25 and $2.85 per download, prices vary per site but it can all add up.


  1.     Hire out your vehicle

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are changing how people get from point A to Z. People eager to cut their student debt could benefit from picking up a passenger or 10 during their daily journeys. Lyft guarantees that its drivers receive at least minimum fare if trips are short. Also, both companies have flexible employment hours. There are also sites for renting out bicycles, surfboards, skis and boats.


  1.     Work in the public interest

People who enjoy giving back to others can now get something in return for all the goodwill done. Through the U.S. government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program enables graduates to apply for a tax-free pardoning of federal direct loan debt. To be considered for the programs a full-time position in public service is a must; possible roles include working at a governmental level or a non-profit organization. Potential applicants then must make a series of monthly qualifying payments over a span of years. After which applicants can apply for forgiveness, successful candidates will see the remainder of their direct loan debt written off.


  1.     Join mock juries

Practice panels of jurors enable lawyers to assess their evidence and arguments before cases go to court. Legal teams are willing to pay between $100 and $200 for one day of your time. Since these “trial runs” can be useful tools. To find these jobs search the internet for those in your area.


  1.     Share your friendship

The site RentAFriend enables people to sell their championship to attend any number of social engagements for an hourly fee of $10 or more. Those signed up could act as tour guides to people new in town, be hired to help with hobbies or learn other languages. The site states that it is intended to promote platonic friendships only, any questionable requests that come in can be easily refused. To become a “friend” register with RentAFriend, create a profile, set an hourly rate and get ready to meet new people.


  1.     Move to Kansas

The states are willing to help graduates settle down through its Rural Opportunity Zones scheme. The programs offer financial assistance to new residents: either up to five years’ worth of income tax waivers or college debt reimbursements up to $15,000. There are some rules around residency apply, those new to Kansas are likely to qualify so long they hold either an associate’s, a bachelor’s or a post-graduate degree and can provide evidence of a student loan. Once living in Kansa fill out the Student Loan Repayment Application form on the Kansas Department of Commerce website.


  1.     Become a dog sitter

Websites like Rover make it way for people to find potential pet sitters. This site is focused on looking after dogs and takes care of insurance and any veterinary needs that could arise while on the job. All the sitter must do is set their availability and how much they charge per session. Additionally, there are options to provide dog day care or walking.


  1.     Become a video game coach

All the hours of playing video games might pay off. With eSports on the rise the organization have already attracted hundreds of millions. It is projected that by 2020 the video game tournaments could generate an excess of $1.5 billion annually worldwide. The website Gamer Sensei is one of the companies matching coaches with players, and offers their coaches “sensei” as much as $25.


  1.     Cook up some extra cash

Foodies and budding chefs can make big bucks showing off their gastronomic skills. The website EatWith allows people to make as much a $700 per gig with good eats through dinner parties or pop-up restaurants. There is no need for a fancy kitchen if the guests get fed well and have a good time. Joining the site is free and members get access to other benefits like chef mentors. Simply fill out an online application on their website. Other site like Feastly pair up cooks with private catering events.


  1.  Set up as a voice-over artist

Pay off debts by becoming a voice-over artist for commercials, audiobooks or documentaries. Several soundbites recording sessions only need a small amount of time to complete so it can be squeezed in around a regular working day. For example, a half-minute advert may take less than 15 minutes to record. Prices vary across radio, television and other media and differ depending on length. Sign up to a site like Voices.com and create a talent to start working.

Visit the website refinancestudentloans.net to find the article highlighting all 30 creative ways to pay off your student debt. The site developed its list from studying articles and publications on ways to pay off student loan debt. Key criteria of the final list were how feasible the solution was for the “regular” graduate.