Most people aren’t concerned with the amount of money they borrow in order to go to college- at least, not while they’re still in college and avoiding payments by deferring them until after graduation. Students are taught to believe that going to college will result in higher paying jobs, and therefore- paying off the loans required to get that higher education will not only be “easy to pay off”, but well worth the investment, no matter how much that investment ends up being. When graduation comes and the job offers do not- many students are stuck with high loan payments that are anything but easy to pay off, and the day-to-day struggle; and living paycheck to paycheck- begins.
Education is never a bad thing; and it absolutely should be considered a valuable investment- but having tens of thousands of dollars in debt as you enter the ‘adult world’ after college can be an eye opening experience for most students. College does little to prepare people for the high payments that come due six months after you finish your college days. As much as having a degree should result in higher paying positions- there are no real guarantees that you will in fact find a position that pays you a high salary just because you finished college. If you do eventually land that amazing position that pays a high salary- chances are it won’t be the day you graduate- and it may not even be within the six month grace period you have before the student loan statements start arriving in the mailbox- which means you’ve got to find another way to make your student loan payments and keep up with your day to day living expenses on a lower paying salary.
A program through Upromise.com actually lets you earn money on the things you are already purchasing- like grocery store products, online shopping, and restaurants. The money earned through this program was originally designed to help families save for college for their children; but recently, Upromise was acquired by Sallie Mae (a popular educational loan provider) and the program was expanded to allow people to apply their Upromise earnings to their own college loan payments. It works similar to rewards credit cards, in that each time you use your registered debit or credit cards to make a purchase with a participating retailer, a percentage is placed as a ‘reward’ in your Upromise account.
Once you create an account with Upromise, you just connect all of your existing debit cards and credit cards that you already have in your wallet. You don’t need to apply for any new credit cards, but if you decide you want to increase the amount of Upromise earnings, the Citi Upromise credit card will help you earn more whenever you use that card to make your every day purchases.
You can also ask friends and family to start a Upromise account and connect their own debit and credit cards. Any earnings they get can be transferred into your account and can also be applied to your student loan debt.
You’ve got to buy groceries and pay for other things- you may as well connect your debit and credit cards to a Upromise account and get some of those necessary expenses back towards the cost of your educational loans. Every little bit helps!