Ways to Make Extra Money to Pay Off Your Student Debt

Photo by Unknown, CC0 1.0

Students often finish up at the university in a position that makes it difficult to imagine ever being out of debt. The average student in the USA owes over $35,000 in debt, and this amount is going up given the rise in tuition fees, living costs and interest rates. Though the situation is not easy, there are plenty of ways you can make extra money to pay off your student debt. You can start while you are a student and keep adding layers of income as you gain more resources as a graduate. Here are a few suggestions on how you can reduce the amount you owe.

Part-Time Jobs

The traditional student jobs, such as bar work, retail and customer service, may be available in your area and are always a decent go-to option to help you to earn while studying — therefore keeping on top of your debt as you are going along.

If you don’t want to add the stress of so many extra hours, consider odd jobs like cleaning homes, washing cars and running errands. Sites like TaskRabbit let you sign up to be a tasker and earn up to $60 per hour running errands for people in your area. It can be less of a commitment than a contractual part-time job while still bringing in extra money to put toward your student debts.

For anyone who’s more of a people person, care work for people of all ages (and pets!) can be rewarding and also pays a small wage, too. Think caring for young people or the elderly or even taking up pet sitting or dog walking. You may only bring in $15 an hour, but the work can be more enjoyable.

If you want to get unusual, take the case of Stephanie, who paid off her student debts using methods such as mystery shopping and mock jury cases. Lawyers can pay over $200 for the mock jury to sit and hear a case so that they can practice before the real deal.

Online Work

In this day and age, there are plenty of options for making money online as a student or graduate looking to pay off debt. Freelance work and the gig economy are booming, and you can enter at a casual level doing something you enjoy for small amounts of money on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

Freelancers looking for writing, translation, web design, coding, marketing and more are in high demand, though the rates can be competitive. Once you have established yourself, you will be able to earn a significant amount to put toward your student loans.

Of course, there are many other ways to earn online. Many students that I know played online poker to earn extra cash. Such an option isn’t now available in the USA in the same way, but one that is still open is cryptocurrency poker. CoinPoker offers cryptocurrency freeroll tournaments so you can win CHP coins without even playing with your money. If the coins go up in value, then this is a bonus.

Students and graduates who are keen on photography can sell their photos online using sites like Phototrade and Bigstock. You can bring in anything from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars for decent photos, and smartphone cameras now have a high-enough quality that you don’t need professional equipment to get started.

When You’re Established

It can take a while after the university to feel established in the sense of having a career, house and everything else that you need to live your lifestyle. Thankfully, as you gain more in your life, this can be used to make additional money to further reduce your student debts.

If you own or rent a house, then you can use sites like Airbnb to rent out spare rooms or the whole house if you are away. The amount you make will depend on factors like the location, but it can be a decent earner. Just be aware of regulations and ask your landlord’s permission. You can also rent out your car if you have one, using sites like Turo.

If your education has left you with demonstrable knowledge and understanding of a subject, you may be able to teach classes or design online courses. Use your passion to create learning objectives and information for other people. A successful online course can earn several thousand dollars a month. You could help people prepare for exams in academic subjects or hold arts or music classes. Teaching languages is also common and lucrative.

Student debt is difficult to overcome there’s no doubt about it. However, getting part-time jobs and extra earners can help you to make repayments faster. With a lot of effort, you can start to see a life free from student debt and gain the financial independence you were seeking before you went to the university in the first place.

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