Here’s How to Deal With Student Loan Debt If You Didn’t Finish School

Here’s How to Deal With Student Loan Debt If You Didn’t Finish School
  • Opening Intro -

    You recently decided to stop going to school.

    It could be that a degree is no longer necessary for your job.

    Or, you may have decided that college isn’t a good fit for you.


Whatever the case may be, it’s okay. You can still get a good job and live a comfortable life without a degree.

But, while it’s fine moving on, you still have to pay your student loan debt. They’re not going to disappear, even though you wish they could!

Instead of panicking, there are smart ways to go about paying them off.

Here are seven ways to deal with student loans and get out of debt as quickly as possible.

1. Find a Way to Use Your Skills

Even though you’re changing career paths, you can still use the skills you learned.

If you’re getting a different degree, write down the skills you have. Then, write down the ones you need to transition into your new field.

For example, let’s say your old major was graphic design and you’re switching to a business degree. If that’s the case, having graphic design skills will do nicely if you decide to specialize in sales.

Depending on how far along you were in your degree program, you likely completed some mandatory classes. So, you should rest easy knowing that not all your hard work is going to waste. There are still plenty of skills you picked up that will come in handy for your new degree!

2. Don’t Miss a Payment

Even if paying off your loan takes a while, make sure you pay it each month on time. If you skip payments, you’ll fall behind, and it could affect your credit score.

Similar to a credit card, paying off student loans is just as important. You need to figure out a way to stay on top of your payments.

It’s understandable if you’re feeling frustrated with the debt now that you’re switching gears. Remember, though, you should still be able to use those skills in your new career path!

Follow the payment schedule, and slowly but surely, you’ll chip away at your loan.

3. Put Your Loans on Autopay

Set up autopay for your student loans. When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget to pay for your loans. Classwork is piling up, and you’re working as well.

You don’t need to worry about missing payments when autopay is an option. Hop online and set it up.

That way, you won’t miss a payment or get charged a late fee.

4. Refinance Student Loans

If you can get a lower interest rate, refinance your student loans. To do this, you’ll need to do ample research.

Getting multiple-rate estimates is smart. And it would help if you also decided whether you’d like a fixed or variable interest rate. These are just a few factors to keep in mind as you seek a lender and loan terms.

Before you fill out an application, make sure you don’t miss out on any repayment options. Do ample research to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal for your situation.

If you refinance federal student loans, you won’t be able to apply for government programs. So, it’s best to leave those loans alone unless you feel secure in your line of work.

5. Take on Extra Work

Depending on your current schedule, you may want to take on a second job or ask for more work in your current job. If you’re still in school getting another degree, you’ll need to work around your schedule.

But if you’ve graduated and need more work, take up a side hustle. Find something that jives with your skillset and that you can have fun doing.

If you love photography and are good at taking photos, create an online shop. Or, advertise your services to take professional pictures for special events.

Having a few side hustles can put more money in your pocket, which means you can pay off your debt a lot quicker.

6. Get a Job in Public Services

If you get a public service job, you can apply for the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Here are some employers that qualify:

  1. U.S. military
  2. Public colleges and universities
  3. Special governmental roles (such as public transportation)
  4. Public child and family service agencies

Find out if applying for the program would be a good option for you. If it is, it sure would be nice to have your debt forgiven!

7.  Defer Your Student Loans

If you reach the point where you can’t pay off your loans, you can defer them.

Keep in mind that you should only defer paying your loans if it’s absolutely necessary.

It may seem like the right thing to do, but interest will accumulate during the deferment period (except if they’re Perkins or federal loans). So if there’s a way for you to make your payments, try to work something out.

Contact your loan servicer to find out if there are other options for you. Many times, they’ll let you change your repayment schedule to fit your budget.

other valuable tips:


Student debt is an immense pain when you’re trying to plan for the future. It’s hard paying off school, finding a job, and staying afloat.

Even if you’re going through hard times, stay on the path and follow through with your payments.

It may seem like it’s going to take forever to pay them off now. But one day, you can look back on your hard work and feel thankful you stay dedicated to paying them off.

Look into the options mentioned in this article. They should help ease some of the burdens of paying down your student loans.

Author Bio:
Bobbie Peterson has been in the multi-family housing industry for 14 years and is currently the Regional Vice President for Bria.

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