Maine Will Help You Pay Off Your Student Loans

Safa Hameed

Photo by: Wendell on Flickr (intherough)

Thanks to the “Educational Opportunity Tax Credit,” Maine can help pay off your student loans. This program allows your student loan payment to be subtracted from your taxes. For example, someone people whose payment is $1,700 in student loans and has a state tax of $1,600 would only have to pay $100 in tax so the rest could be used to pay the loan. Other beneficiaries include a chance for reimbursement from the government if you have a STEM degree; the government can pay you back money.

At first this program was became available only to Maine college graduates around 2008. The goal was to encourage them to stay and work in-state. However, the program later included out-of-state graduates as well in order to meet the needs of Maine’s workforce. Nate Wildes, who is the engagement director for Live+Work in Maine stated: “Over time, the employer community spoke out loud and clear that even if 100 percent of college graduates in Maine chose to stay here and work, that still {wouldn’t] fulfill our workforce need”. Not to mention, it also helps to replenish the lacking younger workforce. Maine is the state with the highest average age: 44. This means that overtime as people come to retire there will be nobody there to take their spots. It is why Maine stresses the importance of a younger generation coming to work in the state instead of middle aged men and women.

One graduate, Matthew Glutz, came to Maine in order to help pay off his $60,000 loan, and is enjoying the coastal life. It comes to no surprise as more than 70% of students have student loan debt. That is 44 million people with a combined amount of $1.5 trillion worth of debt, which per capita is about $40,000. All in all, this program is helping hundreds of people all across Maine, and it could help you too if you take the leap.