Believe it or not, one of the secrets to paying off your student loan quickly might just be sitting in the center of the San Joaquin Valley.
Curious? Then read on.
Studying for a career in nursing takes a lot of work and dedication… and many times, so does paying for that study. While there are those who manage to complete their classes debt-free, many nursing students turn to student loans to help reach their career goal—7 out of 10, in fact.
Paying those student loans can seem daunting, however, especially for someone just getting their new nursing career off the ground, but don’t let that stop you—thousands have gone this route before you, thousands have paid off those student loans, and there’s no reason to believe you won’t be one of them. You’re a nurse now, after all, and you eat bigger challenges than this for breakfast.
Still, when that first “payment due” note arrives in the mail, it helps to already have a plan in place for how to begin your repayment. And as mentioned at the top of this blog, one of those strategies is choosing the right city in which to begin your job.
This month, the website StudentLoanHero ranked American cities according to which ones are most helpful for recent nurse graduates paying off loans. Criteria included cost of living, demand for nurses, and average salary. And sitting at #8 on the list is a city not far from our own Unitek College campuses… Hanford, California.
While the cost of living in Hanford may be high, the city makes up for it by offering significantly above-average salaries for nurses.
“In fact,” the website adds, “of the 334 small, midsized, and large cities we reviewed, Hanford reported the 13th-highest annual average wage.”
That average? Over $90,000.
But not everyone can move to Hanford, we realize, and nurses are in demand all over the country. So for those who aren’t moving to Kings County, here are a few additional strategies to keep in mind:
- Look For Loan Forgiveness Opportunities – Loan forgiveness is tricky business. There are a lot of qualifications you need to meet and only specific types of loans are considered. But if you’re a nurse with student loan debt, loan forgiveness is definitely worth a closer look. Programs such as the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program can pay up to 85% of your balance. Check out this list by LendEDU of some other nurse student loan repayment programs.
- Know Your Loans – You may have just the one, you may have several, but whatever the case, know everything about them. That means payment due dates, loan types, interest rates, the works. Missing a payment due to ignorance is a quick way to a lower credit score.
- Pay Higher Interest Loans First – These grow the fastest, so if you have the income to make additional payments, pay off the highest interest loan firsts. And if you’re still in school, consider paying off just the interest each month to keep those balances from growing.
- Take The Deduction – Most student loan interest is tax deductible. You’ll often get a letter around December with the exact amount, so make sure to always open your mail when it comes from your lender.
- Consolidate – One way to make things simpler (and possibly lower your interest rate) is to consolidate all your student loans into one single loan. Websites such as SoFi.com offer help with this and other refinance options.
- Pay Extra – Yes, you finally have a paycheck, and yes, it hurts not to finally spend it on yourself, but putting a little extra into your student loan payments can help hack down that principle balance.
Student loans may seem like a lot to keep track of, but it’s very doable, and a small price to pay for the training that will help launch your nursing career.