Dear Billy and Akaisha –
Re: Your reader Chris’ comments about your overseas lifestyle, and questions about getting out of debt, particularly student loans, I’d like to offer a suggestion – or maybe a couple – in additon to your very valid suggestion of working a second job:
There are any number of “loan forgiveness” programs, some in the U.S. and some with overseas opportunities.
Here are a few:
- Americorps. If you’re willing to devote a year of your life to volunteering for Americorps, you’ll be rewarded with $4,725 to spend on your college debts, and a stipend of up to $7,400. That doesn’t sound much like volunteering to us, but hey, we didn’t write the dictionary. For more information, visit the Americorps website or call them at (800) 942-2677.
- Peace Corps. Go traveling with the Peace Corps and you’ll get to defer most of your student loans until after you leave the program. Not only that, but you may even get some of your loans reduced (maybe as much as 70%, if you’re lucky!). Call (800) 424-8580 for more details.
- VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). VISTA, which is all about community development and ending poverty, homelessness, and illiteracy in the United States, will pay off $4,725 of your loans if you join in on their cause for at least 1,700 hours. Call (800) 942-2677.
There are programs for Law school loan forgiveness, Med School loan forgiveness, Occupational or physical therapy education loan forgiveness… Lots of opportunities, if one is willing to WORK! and do a little research!
We’ve been living and working overseas, on and off, for years (Tim’s been in 60+ countries, I’ve been in about 20. We are currently in Armenia for another 3 or 4 moths, and spent 3 years in Odessa, Ukraine. We keep trying to “retire” but getting paid to live and do work we love in an “exotic” and different locations is hard to pass up. We may be in Moldova or perhaps the Far East next!)
Elizabeth and Tim K. (U.S.A.)