Unique Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loans as a Nurse

by Jenna Willenbring

Woman budgeting

Student loans, any post-college graduate’s nightmare! The average nursing student’s debt from their loan can vary anywhere from $40,000 – $55,000 by the time they graduate. Stare too long at those bills and you may find yourself panicking and unsure where your finances will be in a few months. Though nursing school debt may look daunting, we want to make sure nurses feel seen and understood when it comes to the stress of paying off student loans. Know that a change in a few different daily habits can lead to a more financially stable life. Check out these tips we put together to help nurses pay off their student loans.


Budgeting should always be a top priority when trying to pay off debt. Once you finally start collecting a paycheck, it can be easy to blow it without even realizing where it went. Investing your money in savings and minimizing your spending habits can help pay off student loans in a shorter amount of time. Just check out Travel Nurses Chase and Lindsay Garrett, who paid off $60,000 of debt in their first year of travel nursing. Financially free, this married couple lives out of an RV as they travel across the U.S. They recommended reviewing your monthly income and expenses and getting an idea of what your needs are and how you can build your personalized budget. Building better budgeting habits and using a personal budgeting tracking sheet can help track where your money goes and help give you the control you need over it.

Pay more than the minimum amount due and start paying bi-weekly

Try setting a goal for paying off your nursing student loan each month, anywhere from $10 – $150 over the minimum limit. Use a loan payoff calculator to see how increasing your monthly payments can impact the total cost of your loan. After you’ve reached a month-by-month habit, try paying bi-weekly. By doing this, you can effectively increase your monthly payments over time. Consider working some overtime and putting that extra income into your budget and see if it will help you meet your financial goals for the month.

Avoid certain repayment plans and consider refinancing your loans

Government repayment loans can help ease the burden of those struggling to repay nursing student loans but can work against you over time. Many of these repayment plans lengthen your loan term by lowering your monthly payments but you may end up paying more interest in the long run. A better solution is looking into refinancing by consolidating your loans into one through a private lender to pay off your original loan. This allows you options for lower interest rates and a monthly payment plan that won’t break your bank. Check out these lenders who can help refinance and pay off your loans over the course of five years! Make sure that you seek financial advice and do your research on certain repayment plans to avoid extra fees.

Feed your need to travel by taking on a new assignment

As travel nurses, we know you are looking to satisfy your travel bug. While still paying off your nursing student loan, taking on new assignments could spark a sense of adventure. Taking an assignment in Washington DC, can provide you a close-up experience of all the free museums and historical monuments. Though maybe you are more of an outside explorer and want to hike the mountains at Mount Rainer in Bellevue, Washington. Or perhaps a country fanatic and want to see a famous country singer at the Grand Ole Opry. Experiencing different locations and diverse cultures is a great way to check something new off your bucket list. Also, you can alleviate stress by bringing in extra income to pay off your already accumulating interest loans. Take a moment to talk with your recruiter about working overtime or even thinking ahead and lining up an extension. Look into working a strike and communicate with your recruiter if that’s a possibility Check out our blog on How to make $100K as a Travel Nurse to learn more!