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Three Ways to Offset or Eliminate Student Loan Debt

If you've generated debt from student loans during your time in college, it can take time to pay it all off. After graduation, you may have your hands full simply trying to find an entry-level job that will cover your rent, put food on the table, and start you along your career path -- leaving little room to pay down student loan debt.

Take comfort: there are ways to either delay, offset, or eliminate your loan debt by signing up for one of several opportunities in the teaching, public service, or healthcare sectors.

Here are examples of ways to gain student-loan forgiveness:

Outstanding Perkins and Stafford loans can be retired permanently if you sign up to teach at elementary or secondary schools that serve critically-low-income communities. Or, if you commit to teach secondary school math and science -- or and elementary/secondary school special ed -- for five consecutive years in low-income communities, you can receive upwards of $17,500 in loan forgiveness.

Learn more about it at The Teacher's Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Sign up to serve in Vista or Peace Corps as a volunteer. The Peace Corps will take off 15 percent of Perkins loans for a year of service, 20 percent off each of the second and third year, and up to 70 percent of your entire loan if you serve for four years. VISTA and AmeriCorps will apply $4,725 against your loan for a year of service.

Learn about Vista and AmeriCorps.

Join the Army National Guard. If you sign up while attending college, the Armed Forces Student Loan Forgiveness Program offers as much as $10,000 in loan repayment assistance. For those with health-care/medical degrees, you can earn bonuses toward loans by serving as military health-care professionals. For information, contact The National Guard.

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