Americans owe roughly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. The typical borrower has balances between $20,000 and $24,999, according to data from the Federal Reserve, but an increasing share of grads owe more than $100,000.
Cities and states are catching on: Many lesser populated areas are offering enticing incentives for people to move there, including some that are specifically targeted to paying off your student loans.
Here are four places you can move that can help you pay off your student debt.
The offer: The state has expanded its Educational Opportunity Tax Credit program, which is meant to encourage recent graduates from any state to move to Maine with an offer to pay some of their student loans. Residents will be able to deduct the total money paid in student loans from their income tax bill, up to a certain amount, depending on their degree. So, if you graduated in 2018 with a bachelor's degree from any university or college, you can deduct $377 per month, and if you graduated with an associate's degree in 2017, you can deduct $68 per month.
The reason: Maine is the among the least populated states in the country with 1.34 million residents. (For context, Indiana is roughly the same size as Maine and has a population of 6.7 million.) Maine's population skews older, too: The median age is 44, about six years older than the median age of the U.S. overall, so the state wants to bring in more residents, and younger ones.
The catch: You must have graduated from a college, community college, or university after 2016 to apply.
The offer: The Talent Attraction Program Scholarship offers to pay up to $10,000 of your student loans over a 30-month period. Payments will be in installments of $300.
The reason: To bring more young graduates to the area.
The catch: To be eligible, you have to have graduated from college with a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, or math) degree. And if you cease employment before the end of the 30-month period you will stop receiving the payments. You also must demonstrate employment in the city of Hamilton and/or Butler County.
The offer: Niagara Falls is offering to pay off up to $7,000 of your student loans over a two-year period.
The reason: Primarily known for its tourism, the city is trying to attract permanent, and younger, residents.
The catch: To qualify, you need to have received a two-year technical degree within the last two years or a bachelor's degree within the last three years. You also must move to Downtown Niagara falls, which is walking distance to Niagara Falls State Park.
The offer: As part of the Rural Opportunity Zone program (which is part of the 2017 Tax and Jobs Cut Act), Kansas is offering to pay up to $15,000 of your student loans over five years if you move to an approved county, of which there are almost 80.
The reason: To stimulate job growth in rural areas of Kansas.
The catch: You cannot have lived in Kansas within the past five years. You also must have earned less than $10,000 of income in Kansas prior to moving to a rural opportunity zone.
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