8 Donors, Charities, & Organizations That Pay Off Student LoansNovember 22, 2021
Updated April 26, 2022
About 45 million people carry student loan debt in the United States — to the tune of more than $1.7 trillion. The average student debtor graduates with $39,400 in student loans.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that many people are trying to figure out how to get rid of this debt. Interestingly, there are donors that pay off student loans, as well as charities that help with student loans. Here’s what you need to know about getting donations to help with student loans.
Charities That Help Pay Off Student Loans
If you’re looking for charities that help with student loans, there are a few that can be good choices. Some might have requirements, such as volunteer work, in order to qualify.
Here are some of the charities that help with student loans.
Rolling Jubilee is a project of the Debt Collective, which focuses on debt abolition. It’s not just student loan debt, but all types of debt. As part of the effort, Rolling Jubilee buys the debt, for pennies on the dollar. Then, instead of making the debtor make payments, they just forgive the debt.
Shared Harvest Fund
Shared Harvest is an organization that offers student loan funds in exchange for volunteer work. You’re paired with charities and other nonprofits and as you volunteer, Shared Harvest puts money toward your student loan repayment. As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shift toward those that can help in hard-hit communities. This can be an opportunity for student loan forgiveness for nurses.
Organizations That Offer Student Loan Repayment Assistance
Some of the organizations that provide loan repayment assistance include those that offer government-backed relief.
Rather than being a charity, AmeriCorps offers partial loan repayment after you complete 12 months of service. You need to work full-time and, on top of offering partial loan repayment, your time in AmeriCorps can be used toward qualifying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
National Health Service Corps
There are various loan repayment assistance programs through the National Health Service Corps. Your level of loan repayment depends on your healthcare specialty and whether you work full-time or part-time. You also have to work in an area that is considered underserved. This can be one way to get student loan forgiveness for doctors.
Teach For America
For teachers willing to work in a low-income and needed area for at least five years, it’s possible to get up to $17,500 in loan repayment assistance. This is one option for student loan forgiveness for teachers.
Peace Corps is another government-backed program aimed at volunteer work around the world. After you complete your service, you can receive partial loan repayment assistance. On top of that, this is another opportunity to work in a way that qualifies you for PSLF.
Donors That Help Repay Student Loans
For borrowers who aren’t eligible for loan forgiveness and repayment assistance through the above charities and government organizations, here are a few other channels to consider:
Another option is to get individual donations from people to help you pay off your student loans. Crowdfunding is a way to get small amounts of money from a lot of people to help pay down your student debt. Some of the popular crowdfunding sites include:
Before you use crowdfunding, realize that it requires a lot of work to promote your campaign and raise money. Additionally, many crowdfunding websites take a cut, so you won’t necessarily get the full amount.
Celebrities & Private Individuals
In addition to government programs and charities that help with student loans, celebrities sometimes help pay off debt.
For example, Ellen Degeneres has a program where fans can apply for debt pay off. Robert H. Smith paid off the debt of Morehouse College graduates in 2019 and has an ongoing scholarship relationship with the institution. Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj have also provided help for struggling students and graduates.
Other Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans
Getting donations to help with student loans can be difficult. Attracting a celebrity donor or qualifying for charity can be hard to manage. There are other ways to pay off student loan debt, including:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness: PSLF is a program that will forgive your eligible federal Direct student loan balance after you’ve made 120 qualifying payments. If you work for a government organization, nonprofit, or another eligible employer, you can apply for PSLF.
- State-Sponsored Student Loan Repayment Assistance: Some states offer their own repayment assistance programs. In general, you need to have some sort of skill, such as teaching a needed subject or providing healthcare to underserved communities.
- Student Loan Refinancing: If you want to pay off student loans faster, student loan refinancing can be one option. With refinancing, you partner with a new lender to pay off your student loans, then sign a contract with updated terms with the new lender. If you have good credit, you could potentially get a lower interest rate and save money on interest as well as tackling your debt faster.
- Grants to Pay Off Student Loans: Different grants are available to help pay off student loans. These often operate similarly to scholarships to pay off student loans, since you usually don’t have to pay the money back.
Refinance Your Student Loans With ELFI Today
If you don’t qualify for student loan forgiveness programs or if you have private student loans, consider student loan refinancing with ELFI.*
The benefits of student loan refinancing include the potential for a lower student loan interest rate, as well as being able to get rid of your debt faster. This could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
ELFI offers low interest rates, flexible repayment options, and there is no application fee. Plus, applying won’t hurt your credit score. Check out ELFI’s student loan refinancing calculator to see how much you could potentially save.