5 Post-Graduation Scholarships to Help You Manage Student Debt

You probably don't think about scholarships when it comes to student debt relief. After all, if you're already graduated and in the workforce, it seems like the opportunity to get free money toward your education expenses has sailed, right? It depends. There are actually many jobs offering student debt relief and organizations designed to help professionals conquer their student debt while working.

Although you may feel like you'll be stuck paying loans back forever, it doesn't have to be that way. Even if you're facing a decade or more of bills, you can make the payment process easier by refinancing with a private lender. When you refinance student loans, a private lender pays off your existing balances and gives you a new loan in its place. This amount comes with lower monthly payments and interest rates, so you can start building greater financial independence without worrying about falling behind on your debts. As you consider refinancing, you can also explore these programs. If you're still in college or doing some early research, keep these organizations in mind as you consider different career paths.

Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you're a licensed teacher you can receive up to $17,500 in assistance toward federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans. In order to qualify for this relief, you will have to hold a qualifying degree and agree to work at a low-income school for at least five years. Most grants require professionals to agree to some type of work contract before they're eligible to receive funding.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

Health service providers may be able to receive up to $50,000 in student debt repayment from this program. Mental and behavioral health specialists, doctors, nurses, and dental professionals all potentially qualify. You will have to work for a designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) for at least two years. HPSAs are rated on scores ranging from 0 through 14+. You can work part-time at a HPSA that ranges between 0-13 to qualify for $15,000 in relief and $25,000 if you work at a site with a score of 14 or more.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Public service workers may be able to have total forgiveness for their federal student loans. If you work in public service, work for a qualifying employer and have made at least 120 payments on time, you can apply for relief. Keep in mind that 120 payments equate to 10 years of timely payments, which makes this a form of long-term relief rather than an immediate source of funding.

Army Loan Repayment Assistance

Earning your degree in the army qualifies you for greater job opportunities both in and outside the forces. Military Occupational Specialties are eligible to receive different levels of reimbursement based on their branch and department. For regular active-duty soldiers, the Army will pay 33 1/3 percent or $1,500 annually after every year of service.

Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

If you plan on becoming a veterinarian, you can earn your doctorate and potentially earn up to $25,000 in debt relief per year. To become eligible, veterinarians will have to provide services in an area with a designated veterinary shortage for at least three years. This can help you not only receive funding toward your education but also make a difference in the lives of animals in need.