With the average student loan debt at $27,324, the typical Texas scholar likely owes some money to Aunt Sally. Tackling repayment can seem daunting, especially when graduates must also navigate finding a job, or move to a brand new city, or figure out challenging relationship terrain — all simultaneously. The important thing, says Glenda Gladdis, assistant VP of Student Financial Services at Trinity University, is to have a plan, and don’t get overwhelmed with the prospect of paying off that (often) large chunk of money. Do what you can, and if you can, try to pay down your interest rate while you’re still in school, or better yet, start targeting that principle! With a little creative side-hustling (made easier by the multitude of apps) your student career may stop sucking your bank account dry faster than you can ask, “What is compounded interest?” Listed here are just a few (reasonable, legal) options for knocking back that debt.
Uber and Lyft
Have a car? Have a few spare hours? With both companies operating in San Antonio, drivers can choose between the two services. Both operate on a sliding scale, meaning you get paid depending on the demand and the time of day you’ll be driving. In general, going to work in the evening and on weekends yields higher returns, but be warned: the evening/weekend crowd can be a little rowdier.
Each of these apps caters to a slightly different set of skills, but the idea is the same: You offer to do chores in exchange for money. With Tackle and Taskrabbit, chore-seekers post descriptions of basic house projects and chore-doers make bids. Seekers can shop around on profiles where chore-doers showcase their abilities and past projects. Can you screw in a lightbulb? Then you can get hired on one of these apps.
Are you an overzealous second-hand shopper? Need to off-load some of your cool stuff and make a buck? Craigslist is a tried and true method that connects shoppers with sellers. But another app, Offer Up, is a little more agile and easier to use. Search local and connect to shoppers directly with their built-in messenger.
Yep, that job you did as a 16-year-old still exists, but you can get paid a lot more as a bonafide college student. The Central Texas-based company Sitter Booker hires qualified college students and trains them to become grade-A babysitters. You can book gigs ahead of time, or just open the app to find one last-minute. The going rate is generally $12 per hour.
Get paid to do a clinical trial
Are you willing to talk to some researchers about the effects of smoking e-cigarettes, or sleep with wires taped to your skull? Clinicaltrial.gov is a federal (read: legitimate) website where you can search for local medical studies to participate in for cash.
Hustle your trade
Don’t be afraid! You’re in school to learn some kind of skill. Whether you’re studying photography, English, or computer science, there are plenty of people who will find your budding talents useful. Try out getting paid for family portraits, or writing love poems, or fixing computers. Advertise on Craigslist or Angie’s List.