On the way to achieving financial security, a significant number of millennials are encountering the same obstacle: student debt. A Harris Poll conducted for CNBC in 2021 found that 68 percent of people in the age range of 33 to 40 who had taken out student loans were still making payments on them.
According to a report published by the Pew Research Center in 2019, Millennials carry a median debt load that is fifty percent (50%) higher than what Gen X did at the same age. 2 According to the Education Data Initiative, approximately half of all student loan debt in the United States is held by borrowers who are currently between the ages of 30 and 44.
According to Melanie Hanson, who is the editor in chief of the Education Data Initiative, “Millennials had pretty high expectations for their earning potential coming out of college.” [Citation needed]
“Those who became disillusioned did so in most cases after they graduated and discovered that they were dealing with a tighter job market and lower wages than they had anticipated, as well as a significant recession for those who graduated around 2008 to 2010,”
In spite of the fact that millions of people could potentially be eligible for some form of federal student loan forgiveness, the fact that their debts are so high and their salaries are so meager makes prompt repayment difficult. The question now is, what should one do (other than continuing to make the required minimum payment each month)?
According to reports, a man from California purchased an annual theme park pass so that he could consume all of his meals for free while visiting the park. The following are seven additional unorthodox approaches to paying off student loans that were utilized by other millennials.
3 people inside of an RV
In order to escape the burden of tens of thousands of dollars in debt, Karen Akpan made a significant adjustment to her life. The mother of a child who is now 9 years old recalled the following: “I told my husband, ‘Let’s sell it all and get on the road.'”
After selling their California home with five bedrooms and moving into a used recreational vehicle, the Akpans now travel the world while documenting their experiences, frequently for the benefit of businesses and brands that pay them to do so. The Akpans were able to pay off more than $100,000 in student loans in just 18 months by foregoing their mortgage and adopting a more minimalistic way of life.
When Trevor Oldham, a resident of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, graduated from college in 2019, he was unsure of the total amount of debt he had accumulated due to the various loans he had taken out. He says, “I figured it was $50,000 or $60,000,” referring to the amount. The actual sum is 89 500 dollars. Oldham turned his interest in podcasts into a profitable business after he had consolidated his numerous debts into a single loan. He assisted real estate investors in getting booked on shows pertaining to real estate investing. Oldham was able to make his final payment on his loan in September of 2020.
Up to the challenge Jenna Carson had big dreams of being her own boss but felt like she was being held back by her student loan payments. Therefore, Carson took part in a number of clinical trials, during which she gave medical professionals the opportunity to test various medicines and viral responses on her.
“As a young and healthy person, I didn’t think it was going to have a lasting impact and I made tens of thousands of dollars,” Carson reveals. However, before you sign up for trials, consult your doctor; this strategy may not be advisable for everyone. Carson reveals that he made tens of thousands of dollars. Carson took advantage of her entrepreneurial spirit and launched a business called “junk flipping.” She would first collect a box of an individual’s unwanted items by paying a flat rate, and then she would sell the items on multiple online marketplaces in order to make a profit.
Barbara Schreihans, a resident of Tucson, Arizona, had just completed her master’s degree when she discovered that she owed six figures in student loans. According to Schreihans, the fact that she was a single mother with an annual income of $57,000 meant that she “had to get creative with how to make the debt go down instead of just paying the hellacious interest.” She supplemented her income by working part-time as a fitness instructor at a nearby gym.
It resulted in her receiving a free gym membership and some additional money to put toward her debts. Schreihans lowered the cost of her service by signing up for a cell phone plan with her friends, and whenever she saw a bank running a promotion — such as receiving $500 for opening a new account — she took advantage of it and used the money to pay down the principal on her loan (watching out for catches such as having to change where her direct deposits went). She was able to eliminate her debt in seven years by beginning her own tax preparation business, which she called Your Tax Coach.
These days, Scott Steward serves as the Chief Executive Officer of HiCollectors, an online marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of collectibles. However, when he graduated with loans totaling over $4,000, he was only able to rely on his part-time job at a call center for financial support. Steward was able to make his loan payments because he moved into a small studio apartment and walked rather than taking the bus.
However, he knew he needed to work harder to pay off his debt as quickly as possible. He started working as a freelance stenographer, specializing in medical, legal, and business recordings, on a whim. Steward was able to eliminate his debt in just three years thanks to the asynchronous work he did. Steward notes that even though she is employed full-time in Singapore, she continues to work in the transcription industry. “It has the potential to be a lot of fun.”
Pure for the environment
James Pollard, who owed more than $19,000 in student loans, needed more income than he could get from his part-time job as a marketing associate at a casino in Delaware. As a result, he launched his own janitorial services company and began cleaning offices.
According to Pollard, “I had absolutely no ego at all.” If I had to clean toilets in order to pay off my debt, you can be sure that those toilets got the thorough cleaning they deserved. As a result of the money that he made from that gig being applied directly to his loans, Pollard, who founded the marketing consultancy TheAdvisorCoach.com, was able to eliminate his debt in a matter of years.
Millennials are notorious for moving from job to job, which was especially prevalent during the Great Resignation. But Chelsea Henderson, who works as a client service analyst for Fidelity Investments, has remained at the same post-college job for the entire nine years that she’s been employed there. One of the most attractive aspects of the position is that full-time workers are eligible to have up to $15,000 of their student loans paid off by the company.
“At the time, I had accumulated close to $40,000 in student loan debt, and I was eager to pay it off as quickly as humanly possible,” Henderson says. “As a direct result of receiving this benefit, I am now able to proudly declare that I am completely debt-free.”