If you’re one of the 37 million student loan borrowers with outstanding student loans, you might want to listen up. This month we’re covering a number of creative ways to manage student debt, but we never thought we’d be adding “move to Kansas” to the list.
In an effort to bring in new residents after recent depopulation trends, the state of Kansas is looking to make a deal with debt-ridden college grads. That deal sounds a little something like this: you move to one of fifty designated counties, and if qualified, we’ll help pay down your student loans.
The repayment plan is composed of two parts: Kansas state income tax abatements and student loan reimbursements. Below is a basic outline of how Kansas’ offer works. But before packing your bags, remember that you should always do your own due diligence before making financial decisions, let alone moving across the country.
Part 1: Tax Abatement Benefits
For income tax abatements, eligible individuals will receive a credit for the entirety of their Kansas State income tax liability for any year in which they qualify.
In order to qualify, individuals must have established residency in a Rural Opportunity Zone (one of the fifty participating counties) between July 1, 2011 and January 1, 2016 after having lived outside of Kansas for at least five years immediately prior.
Part 2: Student Loan Reimbursement
In terms of student loan benefits, eligible individuals will receive annual student loan payments in equal shares over a maximum term of five years, not to exceed $15,000 total. These payments are made directly to the lending institution rather than to the individual. Be aware that not all of the Rural Opportunity Zone Counties are participating in this component of the program.
To qualify, individuals must establish residency in a participating Rural Opportunity Zone on or after July 1, 2011. Participants must have obtained an associate’s, bachelor’s or post-graduate degree before establishing residency and applying for student loan assistance eligibility. Participants cannot have earned more than $10,000 in Kansas source income in any of the 5 years immediately preceding participation in the program. Of course, in order to qualify for student loan reimbursement, applicants must have current outstanding student loan debt.