With 45 million student loan borrowers working to repay more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, many are looking for ways to help reduce their total bill. One simple way that could potentially help is signing up for a free Upromise account.
Upromise is best known as a program geared towards helping parents save for college. Upromise has a cash back rewards portal for online shopping and a cash back rewards credit card. Users shop through the portal and receive money back on purchases, similar to Rakuten or Ebates.
While this cash can be deposited into a 529 college savings plan, it can also be sent directly to a checking or savings account, and then used to make extra payments on your student loans.
How to Earn Cash from Upromise
Signing up for Upromise is quick and is free. Here is how you can use Upromise to help earn extra money to pay back your student loans:
Shopping. Upromise lets you earn rewards from online shopping made through the shopping portal. Login to your account, click on a vendor’s offer on the portal, and then purchases will earn cash back rewards to your Upromise account. Cash back offers are typically 1% to 5%, but can be as high as 40% for specific vendors, especially during the holiday shopping season.
You might be thinking: “I have student loan debt; I can’t spend my money shopping!” First of all, way to go on being proactive. You shouldn’t spend money on things you don’t really need. Second, you can use the portal to shop for essentials when needed. For example, earn 2% cash back at Costco, 8% at Sam’s Club and cash back at various grocery stores and wireless carriers.
There’s also cash back on sites that already offer deals, such as 3% cash back on Living Social or 4% cash back on Groupon.
If it’s in your budget, there are plenty of other stores based on a variety of categories, including clothing, travel, beauty and health, sports and outdoors, shoes, computers and electronics, and more.
Even if all you do is direct your current spending through the Upromise shopping portal, you can earn cash back to help repay your student loans.
Signing up for the credit card cash back rewards. Upromise credit card holders earn 1.25% cash back on purchases made. Here’s the important thing – This is only beneficial if you are paying off the entire credit card balance every month. If you’re willing to make purchases you would be normally making anyways, such as gas and groceries, and pay off the balance in full, then you can use the cash back towards student loan payments. Otherwise, with a balance on the card, you’ll be paying interest (up to 24.99%).
You definitely don’t want to rack up more debt by using a credit card that you can’t pay in full. There are dozens of cash back credit cards available out there, so find the one that’s right for you, if you’re in the market for a new card.
Dining out. You can earn rewards by eating at select restaurants. Purchases made at participating restaurants using a linked debit or credit card will earn 2.5% cash back on your entire purchase (including tax and tip).
You can search your location to find participating restaurants near you and ones that are best for your budget. Restaurant listings include a dollar sign rating to give you an idea of the price point. For budget diners, stick to the $ (one dollar sign).
Asking family members to join in. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or other family member who is willing to help, ask them to join as well.
Upromise isn’t the only solution for student loan debt. But since it is free to join, it could possibly help you pay a little extra towards your student loans.
At Savingforcollege.com, our goal is to help you make smart decisions about saving and paying for education. Some of the products featured in this article are from our partners, but this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.