Are you overwhelmed with student loan debt? Here's an unusual idea that might help.

Several communities across the country that are suffering from "brain drain" -- where all the talented locals move away for better job prospects -- want to pay your educational bills in exchange for you being a homesteader.

These cities and states will pay you to live there!

Some 77 counties in Kansas qualify as what are called Rural Opportunity Zones. In return for living in these communities, they will absorb up to $15,000 of your student loan debt and exempt you from state income tax for five years. You don't have to be a current resident of the state to qualify for this program!

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A similar program that exists in Niagara Falls, NY, has long gotten a lot of media attention. The #LiveNF program offers nearly $7,000 in loan forgiveness if you'll either rent and live there full time or buy a home in the community that you occupy as a full-time resident.

 

In Detroit, there's the Challenge Detroit initiative that invites 30 bright young people to live, work and play in the city for one year. If selected for this program, you get to work at local companies like General Motors, CBS Detroit Radio, the Detroit Lions, the United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Crestmark Bank. While you don't get student loan forgiveness, you do get paid $36,000 for the year, plus benefits. Bonus: Many alumni of this program are offered full-time jobs with their host companies.

Chattanooga also has a lot of opportunity for computer types. They're apparently paying computer programmers to move to the city because they've invested a lot of money into their ultra high-speed Internet service that delivers 50 times the average speed we're all accustomed to. Details of the 2016 "Geek Move" program will be forthcoming shortly.

Now, it may not be your cup of tea to live in rural Kansas, upstate New York, Detroit or Chattanooga. But it's no picnic if you're overwhelmed with student loan debt. I have more info in my student loan guide to help you with repayment options for federal student loans.

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Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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