For a single mother, it becomes increasingly difficult to continue studying and complete her degree when she is on her own. Getting a college education is a huge expense even under favorable circumstances. But for a single mother, it’s undoubtedly more challenging. We have seen, as a result, many single mothers often suspend their educational pursuits to meet the needs of their children.
Through grants and loan forgiveness, single mothers are able to pay off their student loans. Public and private grants can help you succeed whether you’re a first-time college student or a single mother. For a single mother, the best option is to apply for as much general aid as possible so that she can get a grant to pay off student loans. In addition, you can target funding that is specifically designed to assist financially challenged moms. But where to get these grants? That’s the question that many single mothers ask when they are drowning in problems. Well, this is the reason this article was written using deep research across the country. Please read this article with patience and pick your grant from one of the suggestions I mentioned below.
Program That offer A Grant To Pay Off Your Student Loans As A Single Mother
You can get your student loans forgiven in a few different ways. There are many grants that you can apply for depending on your profession, where you work and your employer. These are the most popular student loan forgiveness programs, which we’ll cover in-depth later:
- Student loan forgiveness based on your career
- Student loan forgiveness from the federal government
- Forgiveness of student loans by states
- Student loan forgiveness for military personnel
- Student loan forgiveness for nonprofits/volunteers
- Employer-sponsored forgiveness programs
Several of these grants are given out yearly, and some of them are first come, first served. There are also a lot of these programs that run every year. When the application period has passed on the one you like, set a calendar reminder to check back when it opens up again.
Faster Ways To Pay Off Student Loans For Single Mothers
Single moms who work full-time while paying bills, paying off student debt, and saving for emergencies, on one income, may feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle.
We’re here to share a few tips that might help you improve your finances, whether you’re in student debt or struggling to pay off being a single mom.
1. Apply for private and federal assistance programs
Both private and government offer several grant programs that you can use to pay off your student loan as a single mother. As well as the need-based Federal Pell Grant, there are also private grant programs for single moms.
The Amber Foundation gives away a $10,000 Amber Grant every month to a woman entrepreneur. In addition, it gives away another $25,000 Amber Grant every year to one of the previous 12 monthly Amber Grant winners!
In case you don’t know, the federal government has a Pay As You Earn Plan. The repayment plan is based on 10% of your discretionary income but not on your total income.
The Live Your Dream Awards offer three cash awards. You can apply between August 1st and November 15th. Finalists have the chance to receive up to $16,000 towards tuition costs, books, transportation, or childcare. This is how they can focus less on finances and more on reaching their dreams.
PEO International offers six educational projects that include grants, scholarships, and loans. You can also apply for grants on Emma Johnson’s Wealthy Single Mommy site.
Financial help is available through Benefits.gov. Single mothers can also get help from TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). You can also check out the Nutrition Assistance Program from the US Department of Agriculture.
2. Research loan forgiveness
There are some student loans that you can apply for forgiveness, consolidation, or discharge. Keep in mind that only certain loans are eligible for forgiveness.
- Loans from non-federal sources aren’t eligible
- You may be able to get a loan from for-profit colleges
- There’s a chance for some teachers to have some federal loans forgiven if they teach at a qualifying school for five years
- You may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness if you work for the government, state, local, tribal, or certain non-profits
- Under the “Care Act,” you may qualify for forbearance but not forgiveness
- It’s possible to get your loan discharged if your school closed after you enrolled.
- There are some loans you can discharge if you’ve become permanently disabled.
- Bankruptcy can discharge some loans in certain cases
- In case you took out federal student loans and worked in a low-paying field, you might qualify for an income-driven repayment plan.
Recent actions by the Biden administration have canceled some student debt. You can find more information on the government’s student aid website.
3. Refinance Your Student Loan For Better Rates
Students can get Stafford Loans, also known as Direct Loans, at manageable interest rates. They’re always better than private loans with high-interest rates.
However, if you don’t qualify for federal Stafford loans, you can still refinance with a private lender. You won’t get rid of the debt, but you can get a boost in income by lowering interest rates.
There’s a lot of info online about this. Make sure you compare quotes for fixed and variable-rate loans if you decide to refinance your student loans.
4. Increase Your Income
The idea of increasing your income sounds great, but it’s not easy. If you’re trying to balance work and home life, working a second job won’t be feasible. However, there are ways to increase your income without getting a second job.
It’s possible to adjust your W-4 holdings so less tax is withheld. If you’re a single mother with a child, you probably won’t have high taxes. But you should consult a tax pro to determine whether this makes sense.
Consider moving if you can find a better-paying job. You can even get your tuition reimbursed by some companies.
As a way to pay off student loans, you might also want to think about passive income. You can try selling products on Etsy or eBay in your spare time.
Top Grants Help To Pay Off Student Loans For Single Mothers
Depending on your profession, you might be able to get a grant or debt scholarship if you have federal or private student loans. Here is a list of some grants to pay off student loans for single mothers you can use to pay off some or all of your debt.
1. Forget Your Student Debt. No-essay grant
Student loan debtors are the only ones eligible to receive this $10,000 award. You should apply if you’re a current student with loans or a graduate who’s still paying off debt. The only requirement is that you owe school debt. Visit bold.org for more info.
2. Debt consolidation for single moms
With debt consolidation, you can combine your federal student loans into one manageable payment. This service is free from the US Department of Education’s Consolidation Services. Since only federal loans can be combined, private loans are not eligible for restructuring.
Debt consolidation is usually for people who have graduated, dropped below half-time attendance, or quit school. The only way to consolidate direct loans is through StudentLoans.gov. You can get general information about the consolidation of direct loans by calling 1-800-557-7392.
3. Federal grants
Federal grants are one of the most popular and enduring forms of student financial aid. Grants from the federal government are mostly need-based, but some have a merit component too. Thus, some awards also utilize performance matrices for determining eligibility.
As the Federal Government is the largest provider of grant funding, this should be the first point of contact for all college students seeking financial aid, including single mothers.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to applying for federal aid. On the FAFSA, you have to fill out info about your family, including income, assets, and how many people live with you. Your parents can claim you as a deduction on their federal tax return if you file your FAFSA as a dependent student. Here are some federal grants to pay off student loans for single mothers
4. Pell Grant
Pell funding is available to everyone, regardless of whether you’re a first-time student or a single mom returning to college. The Pell Grant has been helping students pay for college since 1972. Grants are based on four separate criteria:
- A need for money that extends beyond your EFC
- Expenses for attending your school
- Enrollment for the whole year
- Part-time or full-time student status
Every year, Congress sets the maximum Pell eligibility amounts, which are currently over $5000.
5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Students who face financial hardship related to college expenses can get this need-based grant from the US Department of Education. Many single mothers can’t afford college expenses because they struggle to pay the bills. FSEOG awards go to these candidates first, then the next most disadvantaged groups, and so on. There is an opportunity for qualified applicants to receive grants of up to $4,000 per year.
6. Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
The ACG program provides scholarships of up to $750 to qualified first-year college students and $1300 to qualified second-year college students. The goal is to motivate students to maintain high academic standards during high school. An applicant’s FAFSA determines his or her high school GPA and financial need.
7. National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grants
Where ACG left off, this program takes over. Every year, engineering, science, math, and certain foreign language students can get up to $4,000 worth of financial aid beyond Pell and other awards.
8. TEACH Grant (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education)
Grants from TEACH Education Assistance for College and Higher Education illustrate a special type of financial aid for college students. Upon graduation, TEACH grant recipients agree to apply their skills to specific schools in exchange for tuition assistance. Specifically, the initiative targets teacher shortages in low-income areas. If you commit to teaching for at least four years in a high-need school, you can get $4000 in free grant money. In the event you don’t honor your obligation to TEACH, your grants become unsubsidized student loans (with interest).
Federal agencies also give special support to other underserved professions, like nursing. In critical shortage areas, the Health Resources and Services Administration gives grants, scholarships, and loans. Doctors and nurses who work in underserved facilities are eligible for student loan repayment programs and low-interest loans.
9. State Grants To Pay Off Student Loans For Single Mothers
The chances of getting financial aid as a single mother are usually the same as those offered by the federal government. Students can apply for need-based aid in most states, but some states reserve funds for the most disadvantaged students. States take financial hardship into account, but it’s not the only disadvantage they consider. Aid for state colleges aims to help people whose social circumstances make it difficult for them to pay off student loans.
Depending on the state, your FAFSA can determine eligibility, while others need more info. For specifics on grant programs, contact your state’s higher education department. Here are some examples:
New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) gives eligible residents up to $5,000 a year for post-secondary education.
Students who are financially needy and attending approved state colleges are eligible for the New Mexico College Affordability Grant. The maximum grant is $1000/semester, but you can renew it up to eight times.
The Kansas Comprehensive Grants are for residents attending public and private universities full-time. The financial need determines the grant amount, which ranges from a few hundred to more than $3000.
Student Loan Forgiveness Mean And How Can Single Mothers Find Them
Loan forgiveness means you don’t have to pay it back in full or in part. The forgiveness of student loans comes in many forms. There’s a chance you’ll get some or all of your loans paid off, or you’ll get them canceled if you work in a specific high-needs area for a while.
For example, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is one of the most well-known student loan forgiveness programs. You can cancel your federal loans if you work for a qualifying public employer and make 120 qualifying payments. In order to be eligible for the program, single mothers should complete the annual employment certification form, which details their employment and student loan status. Making sure this form is filled out every year will ensure your PSLF payments are counted correctly. PSLF will cover these jobs:
- Social workers
- Nursing and medical professionals
- Government employees
- Non-profit employees
- Military service members
The majority of student loan forgiveness programs rely on your profession and location. They’re run by organizations that want to encourage people with certain skills to work in high-needs areas, so they can pay off their student loans.
The state and federal governments have profession-based student loan forgiveness programs. Depending on your circumstances, you can also get your student loans forgiven by working in public service or joining the military.
You can also check with your college. If you agree to use your skills in a high-needs area, some colleges will forgive your student loans.
Public defenders often get student loan debt forgiveness from law schools before the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Check with your school if it’s available.
You should also check with your employer. Employers sometimes give scholarships, grants, and student loan forgiveness to their employees. It’s usually around $1,200 a year up to about $10,000.
Also, check if there are any state-based student loan forgiveness programs for your profession. This funding may require you to work in a high-needs area or a low-income neighborhood.
Everything’s there if you know where to look.
Alternatives Ways to Single Mothers To Get Grants To Pay Off Student Loans
The only career paths that typically qualify for grants and repayment assistance are nursing and law. Here are some alternatives if you can’t get student loan grants:
- Take advantage of Income-Driven Repayments (IDR): Think about income-driven repayment (IDR) if you want to lower your student loan payments. You’ll get an extended repayment term and a fixed monthly payment based on your discretionary income if you qualify. After 20 or 25 years, you’ll get forgiveness for the remaining amount.
- Pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): After making 120 qualifying monthly payments while working for an eligible employer, federal loan borrowers can get their loan balance forgiven through PSLF.
- Repayment assistance from your employer: As part of their benefits packages, some employers offer student loan repayment help. If you qualify, your employer will match part of your loan payments up to a percentage of your salary. You can find out if your employer offers this benefit by talking to your human resources department.
- Check out loan discharge programs: There are loan discharge programs that may be right for you depending on your circumstances. A student who takes out a federal loan can get it discharged if she meets the conditions. Those are things like becoming totally and permanently disabled, her school closing, or being deceived by the school.
Apply For Grants To Pay Off Student Loans For Single Mothers
There are a lot of scholarship programs and grants across the United States. You can apply for federal aid by filling out the FAFSA.
Also, you can look for private scholarships and grants at Bold.org. Creating your free account is easy. Click on the scholarship you want and start applying. Simply click “apply now” to start the process. Some scholarships require essays, but most student loan grants require only a few clicks. Check your profile to make sure all of your up-to-date information is there, including what you owe each loan servicer, and if you want to report low income.
The information you need for each grant will be different. There are a few things you may be asked for:
- Proof of graduation and the name of your university
- An employer’s letter or pay stub as proof of your employment
- Proof of residency, like a utility bill with your name on it
- Driver’s license or passport as legal identification
- All the loans you’re asking for forgiveness
Depending on the grant, some organizations ask for essays, recommendation letters, or resumes.
Find Grant To Pay Off Student Loans For Single Mothers Near Your Location
There are a lot of grants to pay off student loans from the federal and state governments. Here are some free grant resources.
The federal government- Check out GovLoans “govloans.gov/loan-finder” for loan repayment and grant programs.
Professional associations- Associations like the American Dental Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges maintain scholarships, loan repayment, and grant databases.
State education agencies. There are student loan assistance programs in most states. Find opportunities relevant to your field on the websites of your state education agencies.
You may have a hard time being a single mother. Then, you think about how you manage your student debt and finances as your kids are watching and learning from you. If you have a bit of self-confidence and a little help, you can handle your student loan and pay it off. The grants mentioned above have relieved their burdens of loans and helped them continue their studies without fear of financial hardship. In particular, for many who live in poverty, these grants have contributed to their upward mobility through education. It just takes a bit of math and financial knowledge. That way, you can live the single mom life that you’ve always wanted. All the best to all the happy single mothers.