You can get Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP’s) from a variety of sources, often from schools, employers, states and the federal government.
How do they work?
LRAPs differ from repayment plans, like Income-Based Repayment, and loan forgiveness programs, like PSLF. Rather than lowering your payment amount or providing forgiveness of your educational loans in the future, LRAPs provide funds now to make those monthly payments on your loans.
Before you go to any of these sources, write down all the loans and note whether they are State, Federal, or Private loans. It will be important when it comes time to fill out the applications or talk to someone because it also may be possible to use LRAPs in conjunction with some federal relief programs.
First, go to your financial aid office. They may have programs already approved to help repay your loan or consolidate them. These programs are geared toward students who anticipate working in the government or other area for the common and social welfare. When you are in school, apply for a job on campus – your paycheck can be applied directly to the loan, you get work experience, and some insight. Make friends with the financial aid office.
Check out any state-sponsored student loan payback assistance. The state may have volunteer efforts or work experience paydown options. They may even have scholarships for specific work programs. If you work for the state, you may qualify for some debt reduction according to your job and the hours worked.
If you have Federal loans, go back to the source and ask for assistance. There are programs and grants funded by the Federal government that will help. If you have taken a low-income job the supports the Federal Government in some way, there are programs that will help in lowering your cost or paying it down.
Ask your employer if they can help. Often large corporations or firms have a tuition assistance program. You can ask and offer to put in more time or some additional income in lieu of pay increases. Get creative!
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs) are a powerful tool to help you manage repayment of your educational debt
The newly-formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has several websites dedicated to student loan reorganization broken down by Federal, State, and Private loan sections. They have tons of great advice about loan repayment, consolidation, forgiveness, and assistance. They also are there to protect you from fraud and debt collection agencies that may go over the line.
Go to a support websites that supports your industry – the legal profession knows all about huge student loans and there are many agencies specializing in the law and law students who want to get out from under. Physicians typically have huge loan debt, and the medical associations in your area may guide you to the best options for you.
Whether you have a federal, state, or private loan(s), there are way to get help.