11 States and Cities That Help Pay off Your Student Loans

Tired of watching your student loan drop at a snail’s pace? Maybe it’s time for a change of scenery – in the truest sense of the word.

As much as we fear them, many of us could not have paid for college without the help of student loans. However, many borrowers say that their college debt prevented them from reaching some of the biggest milestones of their lives, like owning a home or starting a family.

The good news is that more and more cities and states are offering student loan repayment assistance programs to borrowers moving there, buying property, or working in certain sectors.

The cherry on top? Even if you can get government assistance to pay off your loans, you will still be eligible for some federal programs, such as:

Before packing your bags, you should know that many of these programs are only available to those with federal student loans and that your accounts must be up-to-date (aka your loans cannot be in default condition). If that describes you, here’s a list of places where you can get some of your debt off:

1. California

Home to celebrities and Avocado Capital of the World, the Golden State offers student loans of up to $ 50,000 for dentists, doctors, medical assistants, and nurses. To be eligible for the California State Loan Repayment Program, you must work in the public sector or with a nonprofit in an area where there is a shortage of healthcare professionals. You must also commit to working full-time for at least two years or part-time for four years in order to receive assistance.

2. Delaware

Delaware may be a tiny state, but it makes a lot of cash for healthcare professionals who want to move and work there. Prices range from $ 30,000 to $ 100,000 – with individuals with advanced degrees in medicine and dentistry like medicine being eligible for the highest amount. To qualify for this program, you must work full-time for two years or part-time for four years in a medically underserved area.

3. Georgia

The Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce offers several loan repayment assistance programs with grants ranging from $ 10,000 to $ 25,000 per year for a maximum of four years. This program is available to doctors, nurses, dentists and nurses who work at least 40 hours per week in a rural area with a population of 50,000 or less. Some of the cities to choose from are Polk, Lincoln and Monroe – just an hour from Atlanta and a hotspot for concerts and festivals.

4. Hamilton, Ohio

Known for its abundance of Victorian homes, sculptures, and outdoor activities, the city of Hamilton is also now the first Ohio city to offer what is known as a reverse scholarship program. If you have completed a science, engineering, engineering, art, or math degree in the past seven years, you can apply for the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Talent Attraction Program Scholarship. Each year the foundation selects 10 lucky winners and offers them up to $ 300 per month to pay off their student debt. Aside from recently graduating, you must be an outsider ready to move to town and with a job offer in Hamilton or Butler County to qualify for this award.

5. Illinois

Looking for a home but student loans holding you back? Then move to Illinois! The state recently announced it would invest $ 25 million to help first-time buyers with student debt purchase a property through its SmartBuy program. This initiative includes a $ 5,000 loan that you use to pay a down payment and up to $ 40,000, or 15% of the property’s value, whichever is lower, to pay back your student loan. To qualify, your household income cannot exceed $ 109,200.

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6. Iowa

Call to all environmentalists and small town lovers! Iowa, the state where more than 50% of its electricity is generated from wind power, is helping teachers, health workers, lawyers, and veterinarians pay off their student loans. The government student loan repayment programs are reserved for people working full time in rural areas where there is a high need for skilled workers in any of the eligible areas. Depending on your degree, you can get federal student loans worth up to $ 40,000 paid off.

7. Kansas

If you have a student loan, appreciate the quiet life, and are interested in farming and farming, then you should make Kansas your next home. Sunflower State has student loan assistance programs in 19 of its 95 rural opportunity zones. Unlike many other student loan repayment utility programs, the programs available in Kansas do not require a degree in a specific discipline to qualify. You just have to be a new resident moving in. You can get up to $ 15,000 to pay off your loans over five years. Around 150 employers are currently participating in this program. Kansas Rural Opportunity Zones include Wallace, Rush, Franklin, and Pawnee (unrelated to the Pawnee of Parks and recreation).

8. Maine

Maine has given us a lot of great things. Lobsters, wild blueberries, and Patrick Dempsey are just a few. But if you got a STEM degree and ran into debt for it, the state has another great offer: the Maine Tax Credit Opportunity. If you graduated after 2008 and live and work in Maine, the state will reimburse your minimum student loan payments as a credit towards your state income taxes. Depending on the senior year, there are additional rules and restrictions. It is therefore essential to check the admission requirements. In addition to this benefit, the Maine Treasury has a student debt relief program that pays half of your outstanding student loan up to a maximum of $ 60,000 if you have a STEM degree and work for a Maine employer.

9. Maryland

Just like Illinois, Maryland offers student loan repayment assistance to borrowers who purchase property in the state through the SmartBuy 3.0 program. To qualify, you must buy a home from an approved lender and have at least $ 1,000 on a student loan. The program is also limited to individuals with a maximum household income of $ 92,500 or $ 154,420, depending on the location of the property and your household size. This program can get you up to $ 30,000 or 15% of the property value (whichever is lower) towards paying for your student loan. The state is also offering $ 50,000 in student loan repayment assistance for health professionals working in medically underserved areas or areas of medical shortage. To receive this award, you must commit to working full-time for two years.

10. Michigan

Michigan offers one of the most generous student loan repayment programs on our list, with a limit of $ 200,000 for dentists, doctors, and mental health providers. To receive this award, you must work full-time for a minimum of two years in a nonprofit health clinic in an area where there is a shortage of healthcare professionals. You can be eligible for loan assistance for a maximum of eight years. No doctor or dentist? Visit St. Clair or Huron County. Both counties offer reverse scholarships of $ 10,000-15,000 for student loan repayment for those who move there and have a degree in science, technology, engineering, arts, or math. Since it was founded, both districts have awarded 16 scholarships.

11. Texas

The Lone Star State has one of the lowest cost of living in the country and is one of the nine states that do not require residents to pay state income tax. And if you’re a teacher, attorney, or healthcare provider, it offers another financial benefit: help with your college debt. Here are some of the repayment assistance programs you can find in the state: the Nursing Faculty loan repayment assistance program, the Teach for Texas loan repayment assistance program, and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s student loan repayment program. Depending on the industry and the program you are applying for, you can get anywhere from $ 4,800 to $ 180,000 in assistance.

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More tips to pay off your loans faster or reduce your monthly bill

As mentioned earlier, most student loan repayment assistance programs are available for those who have a government student loan. If you have a personal student loan and want to pay off your debt faster or lower your monthly rate, you can consider refinancing.

By refinancing your private student loan, you can secure a lower interest rate, which means you can pay off your student loans faster. You can also choose a longer repayment schedule if you want to lower your monthly payments. However, in order to get the best terms and prices, you need to have excellent creditworthiness and a stable source of income.

If you have a government student loan and cannot move or do not qualify for any of these programs, you can apply for an income-based repayment plan. An income-based repayment plan adjusts your monthly bill to a percentage of your income and the amount will never exceed the amount you would pay with a standard repayment plan. After 20 or 25 years of payment, all remaining debts are waived.

Do you know of a city or state program that is not listed here? Email us at college@money.com

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