How to get your college loans paid off

On today’s show, Kerri Miller spoke with finance educator Ruth Hayden about paying for college. An interesting discussion from our live chat:


Why has no one mentioned military service?I took out a mountain of loans to earn my degree from St. Thomas, joined the army and got them paid off! I wish I would have known that I could have joined the National Guard during my junior year of high school, recieved 100% tuition assistance for a part time job, and been done with my contract by the time I graduated from college.


Loved college….didn’t cost me a dime, just five years of post graduation military service….often gets no attention for political reasons.


@ Mike – It’s just you and me buddy. I really don’t know why no one but us has even mentioned the military. People who are struggling with finances for education should seriously look at the National Guard.

100% TUITION ASSISTANCE! Finish college debt free with leadership skills and discipline. Why would you not want that for your kids?


@ Dan – it is odd that military service is consistently excluded from these frequent MPR pieces. No, it’s not for everybody, but it is a viable option that can even get you medical school.

Semper Fi!

Military not for you or your child? Amanda pointed out another way to get federal loans paid off.

There is federal loan forgiveness programs if you work in public service for 10 years. You have to be on a certain loan repayment plan to qualify, but that program is available for those of us who have large loan amounts and are working for a non-profit or for the government.

Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • Sue

    Joining the military when you are interested in it and feel you want to defend your country is one thing. Joining the military only to sign up only for college in my opinion is not a good idea. You may get more military than you bargained for. There is no such thing as a free ride from the military.

    Once you are done with college you are required to serving a certain period of time – up to five years! Sometimes this service can include going into dangerous areas and war. Often times this coincides with the time you want to marry and raise a family.

    Going to college by way of the military is not for everybody. There is a price to be paid.

  • Tadd Sandals

    And still no mention of President Obama’s Student Loan Reform. It is not a political issue – it is law. You need to get this info out to your listeners. Big omission.

  • Student Loan Killer

    I have to agree that joining the military solely for the reason of paying off student debt is a little scary to me. Loan forgiveness is certainly a nice incentive, but it would be hard for me to join the military just for that purpose.

    Personally, I work for a non-profit so that last piece is something I may look into.