How to Earn Extra Money to Repay Student Loans

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Bethany McCamish

By Bethany McCamish

December 13, 2018

Making extra payments can save interest on your student loans. While you could cut your budget or tighten up your spending, it is not the only option for freeing up extra money to pay back student loans. If you do not want to cancel your Netflix subscription, consider increasing your income instead.

Finding a side gig, side hustle, part-time job or additional source of income can be tough. Most of us have day jobs, families and other demands on our time. Earning extra money needs to be flexible to fit into an already busy life.

Here are a few flexible options for earning extra money to wipe out those student loans. These are also options for earning money while you are in school, to reduce the need to borrow to pay your college bills.

Most Flexible

These options allow you to choose when to earn the extra cash. You can schedule these side gigs yourself, turning them on and off to fit your life.

1. Drive

Uber and Lyft have become the new taxi. It is also one of most preferred side gigs since you get to use your own car and choose to drive whenever and wherever you would like.

You will need to have a clean background, excellent driving record, a safe vehicle, insurance and a current driver’s license.

2. Rent It Out

If you own a home, try Airbnb. Renting out your home, a room or the basement for travelers can be lucrative source of cash that is easier on everyone.

Getting started is easy and free. List, schedule and set rates, then start hosting.

3. Sit

House sitting, pet sitting and babysitting are flexible and typically pay well. This is one of my personal go-to side gigs.

If you are just starting out or do not have friends who need your services, head over to Rover or to start your own profile.

4. Submit Surveys

Tell people what you think or buy and they will pay you for it. Fill out the surveys in the airport. Pay is minimal, just like Job Spotter, however it is easy and effortless.

Some popular survey sites that pay are: Survey JunkieInbox Dollar and Swagbucks.

5. Perform Micro Tasks

There are many sites that hook you up with micro jobs inside and outside the home. Many involve just a computer and an Internet connection. Examples include TaskRabbit, Clickworker, Dolly, EasyShift, Quicktate, Scribie, Fiverr, Figure Eight, Upwork, FlexJobs and Amazon Mechanical Turk. Some of these tasks are repetitive and the pay can be below the minimum wage. Tasks can be anything from moving furniture to answering questionnaires to taking pictures of items in stores to transcribing audio to comment moderation to classifying images or other human intelligence tasks.

Less Flexible

In these options there is still a lot of flexibility, but the work requires consistency as people will count on you regularly.

6. House Cleaner

A monthly or weekly gig to do just want it sounds like, clean house. Pay varies by area, but can start around $50 per hour and go up from there.

Register on or start out on your own with a few fliers.

7. Side Biz

If you have made hand crafted cards every year for Christmas, consider selling them online. This requires an idea and a product of some kind.

Etsy, eBay, Poshmark or even furniture flipping are all solid side businesses. Just do not get pulled into a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.

8. Sell It

If your garage, attic or closets are full of stuff you haven’t used in over a year, consider selling it instead of trashing it. Craigslist, Offer Up, Nextdoor, Let Go and Facebook Marketplace are all apps and websites that allow you to list items for free and sell through your community.

9. Rent out Your Car

If you do not drive it often or have a desirable car in your garage, rent it out and make extra income every month. Turo is an easy way to get started and they make sure you are covered with insurance.

Least Flexible

Your control of these options is a bit less than the others, often because the dates and times are chosen for you. In this case, being able to say no and to limit the extra work will be important. An extra benefit is you’ll have less time available to spend money.

10. Overtime

Ask for extra hours at work or pick up the shifts that others need covered. If overtime is an option snatch it up. You already know what you are doing!

11. The Flexible Second Job

Seasonal workers, a local coffee shop or a summer job like lifeguarding can all bring in a good chunk of extra change to pay off those student loans.

Final Note

Debt of any kind is a burden. Student debt is especially taxing. While you may be forced to cut back some on expenses, bringing in additional income is an important solution. From the smartphone in your hand and the computer on your desk to the coffee shop down the street, there are unique and flexible ways to increase your income.

Get your hustle on and pay off those student loans.

A good place to start:

See the best 529 plans, personalized for you