If you are considering going back to school for nursing or are currently enrolled in a nursing program, you understand by now that the cost of a nursing degree is expensive. There are many costs involved and long hours if you would like to pursue full time. Taking a nursing student loan may be your best option to attend school. If so, here are a few tips on effectively paying off your nursing student loans.
Work While In School
Many people that are in nursing school say they can’t afford to pay for school even with a full time job. Other financial obligations must be met. It’s true, you may need the help of student loans to cover the initial tuition costs, but you can make payments on your loan while you are in school. If you are using the Federal Stafford loans, your subsidized loan does not accrue interest while you are in school. The more you pay your loan down before graduation the better. Get a part-time job working the maximum hours you can stand a week without it interrupting your studies. Apply the income towards your loan.
Make Extra Payments
Just as with any other loan, if you apply extra payments or send in additional money for your loan, you will be able to pay the loan off faster. Whenever you send the extra money, contact the loan servicer and tell them you would like that applied to the principal amount of the loan and not towards the following month. Some people send bi-weekly payments in an attempt to cut back on the daily interest rates. This applies one extra payment a year to the account.
Enroll in Auto-Payment Program
If you have a loan out through the Department of Education, many of their loan payment programs offer incentives if you allow automatic payments from your bank account. You not only are guaranteeing to make your payments on time, but you are rewarded with the discount. This can save you a few hundred dollars possibly.
Apply for the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program
Once you have graduated from nursing school and are a registered nurse, you may be eligible to participate in the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program. You must work full time at an eligible critical shortage healthcare facility. You will be obligated to serve two years at the facility, must maintain a full time status, and have received your nursing education at an accredited nursing school. This option will pay up to 60 percent of your loan within the first two years and another 25 percent in the third year.
Look Into Other Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Programs
There are also other student loan debt forgives programs. These programs will pay some or your entire student nursing loan. You must either perform volunteer service, military service, or teach in underprivileged schools. A few popular programs include AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, the Army National Guard, and teaching in predominately low income based elementary or secondary schools.
Taking out the nursing student loan is a choice that should be well thought out. Therefore, before you take out a large nursing student loan, you should see the average student cost is so you can better prepare yourself. Look thoroughly at the loan repayment options and decide if it’s something you can manage.