he majority of college students are burdened with student loan debt. Paying off student debt is a long-term financial goal for many students. But, the only way out of debt is to earn a degree and get a job. However, the problem here is that by the time you repay the loan, you'll owe much more than when you borrowed. That's the curse of interest!

Nonetheless, you may still pay off your student debts while in college by doing side hustles. You will not only save money on interest but also be able to pay off your debt faster. You can start side hustles from your first year of college. The sooner you make money, the quicker you can pay off your student debt.

Here are some smart side jobs to pay off student loan debt:

Happy Person With Money

1. Sell Your Unused Stuff To Thrift Stores

We've all got a few items of clothing and belongings stashed away in our closets that we never use. Instead of piling them up, consider selling them to local thrift shops to get some additional cash. It could be the pants that don't fit you or the gifts from your ex. Alternatively, you may list them on sites like eBay, Craigslist, and LetGo. Also, you can sell your textbooks and notes at the end of the semester to your juniors or sell them online at Nexus Notes and Studysoup.

2. Freelancing

Freelancing is great side hustle to bring in some extra cash. Various freelancing jobs are available to write, code, design, and manage social media. The most exemplary aspect of freelancing is that it offers flexible hours and is a home-based job. You will not only improve your skills and gain experience, but you will also earn extra income. You can signup for Fiverr and Upwork to find some freelancing jobs.

3. Tutoring

You can turn your knowledge into money by tutoring kids or high school students. It is possible to work as a part-time tutor and teach a wide range of courses to students of all ages, from math and science to language skills. In addition to academic tutoring, you may also teach other skills, such as playing the guitar, piano, or painting. Chegg, Rosetta Stone, and Varsity Tutors are just a few websites where you may find tutoring opportunities. Additionally, you have the option of creating and selling your online courses. You can sell your online courses at Skillshare and Udemy.

4. Pet Sitting

If you are a pet lover, pet sitting might be an ideal job for you. There are various pet sitting jobs where you get paid for caring for people's pets. You must take dogs on walks, bathe them, or give them company. You can sign up on Rover.com and Wagwalking.com to find pet sitting jobs.

Pet Sitting

5. Baby Sitting

If you have a soft spot for children, babysitting may be a pleasant way to make some extra cash. Busy work schedules make it hard for many parents to care for their children. As a result, parents hire babysitters to look after their children while away. You can apply for babysitting jobs on sites like care.com and sittercity.

6. Ride Share or Delivery Services

You can also sign up for ride-sharing or delivery services as a side hustle. Having a vehicle, a driver's license, and a few hours on your hands are all you need to get started. Uber and Lyft are two well-known ride-sharing services. There are many options for food delivery, including Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, etc.

7. Start A Blog/Website.

Writing a blog might be a lucrative side job. You can start blogging in your favorite niche. There are many options; decide which ones pique your interest and are within your realm of expertise. After that, you may start writing blogs that will drive visitors to your site and eventually make money. You can start blogging at Blogspot or Wordpress or host your website with local hosts. In terms of blog monetization, Google Adsense is the most popular. You get paid based on ad views and clicks. You can also opt for affiliate marketing and membership.

Blogger with Computer and Phone

8. Bug Hunting

If you are tech-savvy, then bug hunting can be a profitable side hustle. As a bug hunter, you have to search for the bugs and detect software vulnerabilities. There are several places to look for bug hunting jobs, including Hackerone, Bugcrowd, Intigriti, and Synack. You may also work on your own to find bugs on big companies like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Payouts are based on the severity and platforms of a bug's discovery.

9. Become A Social Media Influencer

Influencer marketing is one of the best side hustles. You can be an influencer on social media such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook. As a social media influencer, you serve a bridge between brands and consumers. You connect them by introducing and giving honest opinions about the brands. If you have good numbers of followers on your social media, you can reach out to the brands to become the brand endorser.

10. Launch Print-On-Demand Store

If you love making custom graphics and artwork then, print on demand store can be a great side hustle for you. You can sell your custom artwork on products such as t-shirts, phone cases, mugs, bags, etc. There are various platforms where you can sign up and submit the designs. The company will print and sell the items on your behalf, and you will be paid the commission. You can sign up at Teelaunch, Lulu Xpress, Printify, and Etsy.

How To Balance Study And Side Jobs?

It is maybe overwhelming at first to balance study and side jobs simultaneously. But, once you master the art, it will be a piece of cake for you. Here are some tips for balancing study and side jobs without affecting your studies:

Guy Balancing his Work and Studies

Assess Your Schedule

Before starting the side hustle, you must assess your schedule and plan your job in leisure time so they do not overlap. Look for a side job that is flexible to your study schedule so that you may make adjustments as required. This will allow you to balance your time between school and your job. You can use calendars, planners, and phone apps to keep an updated schedule and know when you are free. If your study schedule is hectic, you can work during the vacations only.

Find The Perfect Place And Time To Study.

You should find a perfect place to study where you can focus the most. Studying at the library is an option. Since you are simultaneously working, you must get the most out of your limited study time to meet your academic goals. You can study in the morning if you are an early bird and can concentrate well in the morning and do jobs at night and vice versa.

Prioritize Your Goal

Studying should be your number one priority as a college student. Secondarily, you should only engage in a side hustle to earn extra money in your spare time. Recall why you took out that student loan in the first place: it's an investment for your future. It's best to look for more flexible work or quit your side job if you think it's hindering your studies or making it impossible for you to study. The most crucial thing is to focus on your studies rather than any side jobs.

Work Smart, Not Harder.

Let's accept that study-work balance is tricky. It's impossible to devote 100% of your effort to your studies if you're simultaneously working. So, instead of putting in more effort, focus on becoming efficient. It is possible to study less and achieve more. The most vital piece of it is to know what, when, and how to learn. It's impossible for a human being to recall everything in a course curriculum. As a result, you need to concentrate more on the most crucial subject.

On top of that, people cannot concentrate for longer durations. Therefore you should study when you are most alert. You can work when you can't focus on your study. This will diversify your schedule while earning the extra money and will not hamper your education.

Proper Communication In Your Workplace

Your manager and colleagues must know you are balancing your job and school. Most students hide that they are studying to get a job as some places do not hire students. As a student, your primary goal should be school. So, don't work for someone who won't employ students. Find a job in a place that fully supports you being a student so that you can have flexibility when required. For instance, if you have to take exam leave, you can tell your co-worker to cover it up for you, or you can study when there are no customers or work in your workplace.

Learn To Say No!

Learn to say no to things and people that don't matter or don't align with your goals. Your time and energy are priceless when your schedule is packed, and you cannot afford to waste them. Say, for example, that your exam is fast approaching and that your friends are urging you to go on a vacation. Spending time with your friends is essential, but you should not enjoy it at the expense of your academic performance. Prioritize your goals and learn to say no to anything that doesn't line with them.

Take Care Of Yourself.

While juggling your work and study, taking care of yourself and your health is essential. You should stay hydrated and eat lunch in time. Never put your health on the line for school or your job. You may take a break if things have become too hectic for you. Treat yourself to a vacation and get away from the daily grind. You can meet your friends and go on dates; life is more than just studying and working.

How Much Side Hustles Income Should Be Allocated To Pay Off Debt?

There is no hard and fast rule on how much of the side hustle's money may be allocated towards the loans. But, the experts believe that at least 15% of the income should be allocated towards the loans. However, it all comes down to your debt and whatever debt management strategy you use. If you don't have a plan yet, check out the debt management strategies to see which one is best for you.


Student loan debt is a heavy financial chain that most students want to break free of. Rather than waiting to graduate and start earning money, side hustles are a great way to lighten the financial burden. It's even possible to graduate debt-free through your side hustle. It all comes down to your skills and efforts. Know what you are good at and find a side hustle that complements your skills and expertise. Keep hustling till you bring that loan amount to zero.


Jul 11, 2022
Student Loans

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