You can work really hard to put aside money from your paycheck to pay off your student loans, but you can also shop your way to student loan payments.

One way is by utilizing cash rebate programs that directly deposit the money you earn from purchase rebates into your student loan account on a quarterly basis. You can also use cash-back credit cards that can help you save up in order to make extra student loan payments.

Websites That Pay
Below, we go over some of the best websites that allow you to earn cash through shopping, and will help you pay down your student loan.

  1. UPromise: Shop Your Way to Loan Rebates
    The website is known for helping moms and dads save for college through shopping online and in-person at thousands of stores across the country. You are able to get your rebates deposited quarterly as a payment on a Sallie Mae student loan, or sent to you as a check, which you can use to pay off student loans.

    This website offers the most ways to save because you have in-person options at grocery stores and restaurants, in addition to online shopping.

    The following is an example to show you how the savings add up. Let's say you sign up for the dining program and go out to twice in a month for $40 each time. You earn 8% of each purchase. Then you buy a pair of $60 shoes with a rebate of 10%. You just earned $12.40 towards your student loans from purchases you were going to make anyway. This adds up to over $100 a year of free money that could be going towards your student loans.

    Of course, if you spend more, you'll save more. In addition, you can get grocery savings on certain products which will also increase your student loan payment bounty. (Learn more in Should You Consolidate Your Student Loans?)

  2. GradGold: Turn Spending to Savings
    The site also offers rebates on the shopping that you do regularly, but the money is deposited only into accounts for those with student loans serviced by AES. Also, you only get rebates from online shopping. Still, there are a wide variety of partners that want to offer you free cash.

    For instance, if you want to buy a couple of kitchen gadgets, you'll have dozens of stores from which to choose. Let's say you end up buying $45 worth of items with a 10% rebate, you'd save $4.50 just off this one purchase. Whether it's clothing or appliances you're purchasing, the rebates you receive can be put towards paying off your debt.

  3. Ebates: Cash For Student Accounts is a rebate program that gives you a percentage off of online shopping, but is not deposited into a student loan account. However, you can use the cash towards paying off your loans. (Learn more in Loan Deferment Saves Students From Disaster.)

    To get these rebates you go to the ebates website and login to your account when you want to shop. Then you click on the store of your choice. As long as you earn at least $5.01 during a three month period, you will receive a payment.

    This is a highly reputable site with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Credit Card Rewards Programs
There are also credit card programs without annual fees that go beyond giving cash back for your purchases. Some credit cards offer bonuses for shopping through their websites or bonus cash on top of your cash-back earnings. For the sake of maintaining your credit score, only apply for the credit card that you think will be the best for you.

  1. Bank of America's Upromise Card
    The Bank of America Upromise card multiplies certain Upromise savings awards. The card can add an extra 10% contribution to your Upromise savings on select grocery items and on the bill at certain restaurants. All purchases made with this Upromise credit card qualify for 1% cash back.

    How much could you earn? If you charge $1500 a month in monthly expenses, you'll earn $180 per year. Then if you go to one restaurant per month where you get 10% bonuses, and you spend $40, you'll get an extra $48. Without grocery savings or the Upromise savings you'd normally earn, you would earn $226 towards your student loans.

  2. Chase Freedom Card
    With the Chase Freedom card you earn 1% cash back on everything, and 3% on certain everyday purchases like groceries and utilities. Plus, you can get bonus rewards through the online mall. If you spend just $600 a month in the 3% category, you would earn $112 annually for your student loans. If you add another $900 of monthly expenses at 1% return, you'd earn another $108, and a total of $220. If you also shop online occasionally, your savings could be well over $300. In your first year, Chase bank also gives you a $50 bonus.

    The best part of this credit card is that you get your cash back in checks, which you can deposit and send directly to your student loan company. (Learn more about getting the most out of your credit cards in Credit Card Perks You Never Knew You Had.)

  3. Citi CashReturns MasterCard
    With the Citi CashReturns MasterCard you earn 1% cash back on all your purchases with a 20% cashback bonus at the end of the year. While the rewards aren't spectacular, you do get checks every time you reach $50 in rewards. And you can always go to one of the student loan or rebate sites to earn even more money.
    (For help on how to handle credit cards, read Take Control Of Your Credit Cards.)

Think of these rebate programs as a scholarship for your student loans. These programs can work to save you money as long you don't go out of your way to make purchases you wouldn't normally make.

Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    Explaining Equated Monthly Installments

    An equated monthly installment is a fixed payment a borrower makes to a lender on the same date of each month.
  2. Budgeting

    6 Cost-Effective Tips for Raising Your First Child

    The excitement of welcoming your first child to your family shouldn't prevent you from making good cost-effective decisions.
  3. Budgeting

    5 Ways to Date on a Budget

    Dating on a budget doesn't have to be boring. Try these 5 tips to find the best dates on a budget.
  4. Budgeting

    7 Kids Items You Should Never Buy Used

    Buying secondhand items is a great way to save money, but these seven kids items should not be bought used.
  5. Investing

    10 New Apps That Help Budget For Expensive Cities

    From platforms for saving money to those that account for side jobs, mobile apps are changing spending habits and income generation in urban areas.
  6. Budgeting

    How Cooking At Home Can Save You Real Dough

    Cooking at home saves time and money but most importantly, it could even help lower future health costs.
  7. Personal Finance

    Money Matters on Campus: Attitudes & Aptitudes

    Financial trends among college students are a cause for concern, prompting a renewed emphasis on financial instruction.
  8. Home & Auto

    Why Housing Costs Shouldn't Exceed 30% of Your Budget

    Financial experts will argue that there’s no problem with allocating 50% of your net income to housing, but that barely leaves enough money for living comfortably. Reducing housing expenses to ...
  9. Investing Basics

    Tiny House Movement: Making Market Opportunities

    The tiny house movement throws all assumptions about household budgeting and mortgage management out the window, and creates new market segments too.
  10. Budgeting

    Top 10 Ways College Students Can Save Money

    College costs are soaring, but fortunately, there are several ways for college students to save money - and some are quite painless.
  1. Student loans, federal and private: what's the difference?

    The cost of a college education now rivals many home prices, making student loans a huge debt that many young people face ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the range of deductibles offered with various health insurance plans?

    A wide range of possible deductibles are available with health insurance plans, starting as low as a few hundred dollars ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What proportion of my income should I put into my demand deposit account?

    Generally speaking, aim to keep between two months and six months worth of your fixed expenses in your demand deposit accounts. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!