Updated: August 26
Make that, I’ve found a clever way to pay my student debt while spending as little of my own money as possible. Call me crazy, but there’s nothing I hate more than seeing my hard earned money go towards another student loan payment. So I’ve made it my goal to pay those bad boys off using means other than my money. And that’s without resorting to sugar daddies, Kickstarter campaigns, street solicitations or lottery winnings. Is it a lofty goal? Yes – especially when I graduated from a private school with lots and lots of student loan debt. But it’s a goal worth chasing. Leave it to me to do the impossible. Yes, I am on my way to paying off my student loans without using my own money.
I’m doing every quirky thing I can think of to pay of all that student debt so I won’t have to wear funny shirts like this anymore:I'm on my way to paying off student #debt w/o using my own money! Click To Tweet
So how am I doing it? By doing each of the following tasks.
1.Sign up for Gradible
Gradible has been one of the most lucrative methods I’ve used for paying student loans. It’s a website that allows you to do simple online tasks in exchange for student loan payments. Here’s how it works: You create a FREE account and login to see what tasks are available to you. Tasks include things like posting to Craigslist, filling out surveys, writing reviews, and transcribing videos. Once you complete the tasks to the best of your ability, loancreds will be deposited into your Gradible account. After you’ve accrued 100 loancreds which equals $10 you can apply them to your student loans. (Don’t worry, you won’t be working for weeks before earning a measley $10.) Since signing up last August, I’ve accrued more than $1,000 that has been applied towards Sallie Mae, Chase, Citibank and My Great Lakes. I really feel like I’ve hit the holy grail with Gradible! If that isn’t a great way to pay of my student loans without spending my own money I don’t know what is.
Sign up through my referral link and you’ll automatically get $2 deposited into your account.
2. Make your Receipts Count
How many times have you gotten a receipt from a store or online purchase and simply tossed it in the trash? Of if you’re like me, you’ve amassed a pretty impressive collection in the bottom of your purse. Well, it turns out those little pieces of paper can do a lot more than just annoy you when they turn up in random corners around your purse or home. Free apps such as Receipt Hog, Ibotta and Receipt Pal allow you to earn money and rewards by snapping pictures of your receipts. Why do they do it? Companies are willing to pay big bucks to learn about spending habits. Once you snap a good amount of receipts you can redeem the points earned from those shopping trips for cold hard cash from Receipt Pal. And you know where that cash is going, right? Directly to those student loans. Meanwhile, Receipt Pal allows you to redeem your points for gift cards at Amazon.com and Restaurant.com. Sign up for Receipt Pal and Receipt Hog now! And to the sweeten deal, make sure you use my referral code (traf3013) when downloading Receipt Hog and you’ll earn extra points! If that’s not enough, Ibotta will give you an extra dollar for signing up through my link or using my referral cod (rxwvcpa)
3. Make those gift cards count
Remember those gift cards I mentioned above? I bet you were wondering why I was wasting my time telling you about Receipt Pal, when all you can get are gift cards. You can’t possibly use gift cards to pay of your student loans, right? Wrong! You just have to make your gift cards count. Now, it’s true SallieMae won’t be accepting gift cards in lieu of money, but there’s no way around that. All you need to do is trade those gift cards in for money. Visit websites such as Gift Card Granny and see how much money you’ll receive for trading in the gift card. Once you receive that check, go ahead and send that bad boy to your student loan provider!
Go ahead and rack up all those points for gift cards and trade in that Toys r’ Us gift card your grandma gave you for your 21st birthday! It will all be worth it once applied to that crippling student loan debt.
4. Shop and read emails
How may times have you shopped or read junk emails and gotten absolutely nothing for it? If you can actually state a numerical response it’s too much! It’s about time we use all that time online shopping for student loan payments. Well, MyPoints lets you do exactly that! At least, that’s what I use it for. Sign up through the link above and you’ll earn points for opening the emails they send to your inbox and cash back on your online purchases made through the site. Just like the others, once you accumulate enough points you can redeem them for cash or gift cards. For cash payments, you’ll receive those in your Paypal account and physical gift cards will be received in the mail within 2 weeks. Then trade in those gift cards for cash or use the money submitted through your Paypal account to pay a student loan.
5. Take Surveys
Taking surveys to pay off loans may be the most tedious route to go, but it can also be pretty lucrative. Sites like Mysurvey and SurveySpot allow you to take surveys about your habits, shopping experiences, favorite brands and more in exchange for money. SurveySpot allows you to redeem points for money submitted to your Paypal account or iTunes and Amazon gift cards. Meanwhile, Mysurvey allows point redemption for checks, Paypal deposits, magazine subscriptions and a plethora of gift cards including CVS, AppleBees, Macy’s, TJMaxx, Red Lobster and more.
6. Be smart with money
The smarter you are with your money, the more you save and can apply to your student loans. That’s the mantra of SmarterBucks! SmarterBucks allows you earn student loan payments through online purchases and completion of surveys. When you sign up for SmarterBucks through my link above, simply designate what loan you want SmarterBuck to send payments to. Every month that you have earned $10 in your account, SmarterBucks will automatically send that payment to the student loan provider you designated when you first signed up. It’s all easy and makes it difficult for you to forget to redeem what you earned. The downside is the money in your account could be held as pending for 30 to 90 days to verify that you actually completed the survey or made a purchase before they can send it to your student loan. Regardless if you take a few weeks to redeem $10, the plus side it’s still one more payment you’ve made without actually parting with your own cash.
And there you have it! All the ways I make payments to student loans without using my own money. Notice none of the methods mentioned above involve my getting another job or selling my prized possessions.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Gradible has since changed their business model and no longer offers tasks in exchange for loancreds that can be applied to student loans. I will continue to update this post with other clever methods to pay student debt.
What methods do you use to pay of student loans? Have you used any of the websites mentioned above?
TERRIfic Quip: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.