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9 Ways to Reduce Your Student Loan Debt

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A stark reality of college graduation these days is that two-thirds of students who earn a bachelor's degree leave campus with debt in tow—$26,600, on average. That debt can escalate quickly for post-graduate and advanced degrees. For many people, it can take years, or even decades, to pay off the outstanding balance.

Choosing a college that has generous financial aid packages to begin with can help reduce student-loan debt. Some schools, such as Tufts University, near Boston, offer yearly payments toward retiring student loans for graduates who work in a qualifying public-service job. Various states have created similar programs that reward graduates for working in certain fields within the state.

There are ways for everyone to slash college debt. The programs aren’t always easy to get into—nor easy to stick with. But here are nine programs that can help you significantly reduce your student-loan debt after graduation or even while you're still in school.

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