Are you drowning in student loan debt? Moving to Kansas might be for you.
According to CNBC, The Kansas Department of Commerce is offering different full-time positions that come with some pretty amazing perks. One of those perks being the repayment of student debt. This is all part of a program called Rural Opportunity Zones, or ROZ. According to Kevin Doel, director of communications at the Kansas Department of Commerce, the program has really helped bring new residents to the area.
In order to qualify for the program, you have to have an established residency after July 2011 and started living there on or after your county chose to be a part of the program. You also have to have your associate’s, bachelors or post-graduate degree before moving to Kansas. Additionally, you’ll need to find someone to sponsor you. This sponsor will pay half of your debt, while the state will pay the other half.
“The ROZ program has also helped over 2,000 Kansans return home and has attracted individuals with a wide range of talents and occupations,” Doel said. “It has been particularly effective in attracting educators and healthcare professionals. The ROZ applicants have stated the incentives were important in their decision to move to a ROZ county.”
Along with the millions of students looking for ways to pay their debt off, the Federal Reserve says that consumer debt in the United States continues to rise. It reached nearly $3.4 trillion in May 2015.
Those participating in the program are eligible for up to 20% of their outstanding loans, which is equivalent to $3,000 per year or $15,000 over the course of five years. The counties that participate in ROZ offer an income tax waiver for new residents who have only made less than $10,000 in Kansas income within five years of moving to the area.
Counties in Kansas aren’t the only ones who have decided to create their own payback program. Additional areas offering loan repayment for new residents include Niagara Falls, New York, Harmony, Minnesota, Curtis, Nebraska, and New Haven, Connecticut.