Maine will help you pay off your student loans if you move there
I loved going to college, but I definitely don't love paying off my student loans. It seems like I'll be making monthly payments from now until I'm a drooling, diaper-clad nursing home resident. When you leave your parents' nest and try to make it in the world, it sucks to be saddled with debt. Sometimes it can lead to financial problems or tragic health issues: One student died after delaying going to doctor for ear infection because she couldn’t afford it.
Well, if you're a struggling college grad, here's a solution: Move to Maine! The Pine Tree State has the oldest population in the United States, with the average age of 44. That's five years older than the average age of citizens in the rest of the country. What's keeping young people away? Who knows? (I think it's all those scary Stephen King novels. I don't want to live next to Pennywise The Clown!) Anyway, in order to attract more young people, Maine is offering to help pay off your student loans if you move there.
Here's how it works: In 2008, Maine started The Opportunity Tax Credit Program, which allows Maine college graduates to use their loan payments as state tax credits. Now the program has been expanded to attract out-of-state employees, because the employers are so desperate for workers. "Over time, the employer community spoke out loud and clear that even if 100% of college graduates in Maine chose to stay here and work, that still (wouldn't) fulfill our workforce need," Nate Wildes, the engagement director for the private-sector initiative Live + Work in Maine explained to CNN.
So, let's say you move to Maine, and you pay $2,700 toward your student debt, while owing $3,000 in taxes. That means you would only pay the state of #300. If your loan payoff equals more than what you owe in taxes, and you happen to be a STEM major (studying science, technology, engineering and math), you could get a refund back from the government, which is always nice. If you're not a STEM major, and you're in the same situation, you'll simply owe nothing in taxes, which is also nice.
The situation benefits both students, and the state of Maine. "We need to import people. We need to attract people from other states for our workforce," stated Wildes, who moved to Maine himself because of the program. "This is a substantial financial investment by the state, many millions of dollars. But we recognize that student loans are a big financial burden and emotional burden. The message to employees is: We appreciate all you've done to invest in yourself, we'd like to put that talent to work and award you by not only giving you a job but by alleviating your student debt."
So, if you're crippled with student debt, think about moving to Maine! Or if that's not your bag, there are other options: This college student who funded her degree by becoming an adult film star.