I have been on the IBR Plan for a few years and due to such low income previously I have barely paid much off of my debt while my interest accrues. After reading your articles I checked studentloans.gov repayment calculator and double-checked with Navient- I am thinking of switching to the RePAYE plan as this would lower my monthly payments and take 10% of my discretionary income as opposed to the 15% that IBR takes.
I was on PAYE program for couple of years after grace period ended. Each year I submitted copies of my paystubs. This year, however, instead of paystubs I was only allowed to submit tax returns. Since we filed jointly with my domestic partner (not married, live and have a child together), my “income” has drastically increased. Hence, I was not qualified for PAYE. Although, we live together and file taxes jointly, I think it’s wrong to dismiss my actual income. I work part-time and dont make too much at all, so I’m barely able to meet the standard monthly payments. Is there any way around submitting your taxes to qualify for PAYE?
Borrower defense to repayment discharge. Borrowers defrauded by their colleges may qualify for debt relief. You’ll need to file a borrower defense to repayment claim with the U.S. Department of Education. If you qualify, you may have your loans automatically discharged, at the discretion of the Education Department, if your school was involved in clear, widespread fraud or misrepresentation that affected a broad group of borrowers.

My wife has over $180k in student loan debt from medical school. I’ve only talked to one company about possibility of some of it being forgiven but they said going through them would actually increase our monthly payment by 100%. Said it was due to her income ($220k) That was unimagineable to me. Could that be correct? Any advice on what kind of specific program I should look in to and what company may be best to help with it? Thanks a lot!


Great information, but I have a question. I had to consolidate my loans since they were not with a federal loan servicer. I am starting to repay my loans, ($200K). I have been working the last 17 years for local governments in my area. Is it true I have to be making payments at the same time I am working for the loan governments or it does not count for loan forgiveness under Public Service Forgiveness program? I am nearing retirement and this could be a problem.
Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.46% APR to 5.98% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.05% APR to 5.98% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.05% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.05% minus 0.15% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
My wife has two Navient loans. She was making regular payments but her principal kept growing. They would be months when none of her money was applied to principal even though she paid every thirty days. Then she would get a whopping accrued interest bill. We went to several agencies including CFPF protesting. They would ask Navient for a reply and accept anything Navient said and close the case.
I am in the same situation as Stephanie, I have made 5 years of consistent payments on a graduated repayment plan. I was counting on PSLF after 10 years, but was told by my FedLoan that none of my graduated payments would count because it is not a “qualifying repayment plan”. I did a lot of research when I first started paying my loans to ensure that I would qualify, and I could have sworn that graduated was listed as a qualifying repayment plan. Everywhere I read now, it says that it is not a qualifying plan. I did fill out a certification form recently, but they said it would take 90 days to process. Please help!
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.05% effective September 10, 2019.
Military personnel continue to have access to some of the best Federal student loan forgiveness benefits, with options for using programs like the incredible Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (which they qualify for as Military Personnel, or Government Employees), or the amazing College Loan Repayment Programs, which offer up to $65,000 in forgiveness to eligible service members.
Note: Servicing for this program is managed by another federal student loan servicer. If you enroll in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, your eligible loans will be transferred from Great Lakes to that servicer. Also note, you may not receive a benefit for the same qualifying payments or period of service for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
I received my master’s degree in 1998 and have been paying towards my federal loans since (aside from a short period of forebearance). I entered the IBR plan about two years ago. In terms of the loan forgiveness component, do my seventeen years of payments prior to entering IBR count towards the 25-year forgiveness mark, or did that 25-year period only commence with my entrance in the IBR program itself (in which case I would conceivably be paying off my loan over 42 years)?

Splash Financial: Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 3.50% APR to 7.03% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.43% APR to 7.76% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Fixed rate options without an autopay discount consist of a range from 3.75% per year to 6.49% per year for a 5-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term, 4.59% to 6.54% for a 8-year term, 4.55% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term, 4.79% per year to 6.59% per year for a 12-year term, 4.85% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.30% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan). Variable rate options without an autopay discount consist of a range from 2.68% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term, 3.69% per year to 5.72% per year for a 8-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 4.47% per year to 6.36% per year for a 12-year term, 4.50% per year to 7.76% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.75% per year to 6.90% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate on the student refinance loan is 9.00% for 5-year, 7-year, 8-year and 10-year terms, and 10.00% for 12-year, 15-year and 20-year terms. The floor rate is 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
Hoping you can provide some assistance as I get extremely confused with all the different options. Currently have 2 Consolidated Loans thru Navient equaling ~11K. They were consolidated in 12/2002. Was paying on previously but that is last time consolidated. Paying since 1997. I know I have definitely paid the loan probably twice now and just can’t get ahead as a single mom.
Good day! My husband and I are currently in a dental residency program that we’ll finish summer of 2018. At the end, we’ll both be in debt of around $400k together. DO you suggest for us to start paying it off a little as we can? Does it make sense to consolidate/refinance now? Our loans are all direct unsubsidized federal loans which have interest rates from 6- 7.5%.
Like other forms of debt, you can refinance a student loan (both private student loans and federal student loans are eligible for refinancing). With most lenders, you start with a rate estimate, which doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry. When comparing rates from different lenders, be sure to pay attention to additional key differences, such as fees, before making a final decision (Earnest has no fees, for what it’s worth).
Hey Adam! It is a sacrifice – but likely a good one. You can go live your life – buy a house, go in debt on a car, spent on whatever you want. Nobody is stopping you. But you searched the Internet for loan forgiveness options because somewhere inside you, this debt worries you. Yes, you’re going to have to pay the student loans, and then yes, you’re going to owe the IRS.
If you want to get approved for a Borrower’s Defense Discharge, then you should call the Student Loan Relief Helpline’s Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Hotline and pay them to review your situation, help you put together the legal arguments required for your application, and increase the odds that you’ll actually receive an approval after it’s been submitted.
Second, typically any changes made to repayment plans will keep you grandfathered in. Congress can’t phase out PSLF simply by de-funding it. They actually have to pass legislation to change it, and any retroactive changes will likely fail (both to pass, and if it does pass, will likely die in court). We can’t guarantee that, but it’s what will likely happen in our opinion.
These programs should be looked down upon. We’re allowing adults to borrow, and then fail to deliver on their promise to repay. The burden of their failure to pay is carried by the taxpayer, generally those who repay their debts to society. Honest people are being punished by others poor education investments. If we keep incentivizing behavior like this, the entire society will suffer. I can’t blame those taking advantage of this system, it seems to be in their best interest in the short term. The problem lies with those who create the system, generally politicians who create social programs to buy voters.
Given your debt load and income, my guess is you’re a lawyer or doctor. Remember, the goal of such a high degree of education is to boost your income. Do you think you’ll be at $100k forever, or do you expect that to climb? I would expect it to climb, which also means your payments will rise under IBR, and you could also make extra payments to lower your debt.

If you are certifying and still have some time left to hit 120 payments – your loans will transfer to Fedloan Servicing (Federal Student Aid is simply a program name, not a loan servicer). FedLoan handles all PSLF requests for the Department of Education. Nothing with your loans change (payment, amount, etc), simply who you make payment to changes.
On IBR, your loan balance is forgiven after your repayment term (20 or 25 years). The best thing to do is make the payment you can afford. If you’re on IBR, and your payment is $0, you likely don’t have much income. If you can make extra payments, great – but don’t compromise other financial goals/issues to make extra payments (i.e. don’t get behind on car payments, go into credit card debt, etc.).
I believe this is misleading, You mentioned having $50k forgiven at the end of an income-based repayment term, that the tax owed is cheaper than the loan + interest. But the $50K you would owe at that point *is* the remaining loan + interest. If your IBR amount was covering the interest and some of the principle you’d likely have paid a ton more interest than you would have if you stayed on a 10-year term, but if your payments did not cover the interest, then your loan balance would have been increasing over time. That $50k could have represented a $12k original loan… If you qualified to pay nothing — then with a 6.5% interest loan over 25 years you’d end-up paying tax on 5x the original balance… You’d likely be pushed into a much higher tax bracket. I believe this is a dangerous recommendation for you to make. If the tax law change, then great, but there’s no guarantee of that. Can you explain your logic in the light that unpaid interest in accruing in your loan balance?
Perkins loans would have been a better idea because the benefits are better, but it sounds like you should still absolutely qualify for the BEST Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program available – the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers complete loan forgiveness after 120 monthly payments have been made (that’s 10 years worth of payments).

I have around $190k in loans consolidated. I make $86k a year and my husband brings in about $50k. I put the loans in IBR 2 years ago and they want my payments to be over $1800/month. There is no way possible we can pay that!! So at the time I put them in forbearance. Now I need to do something and want to pay on them but honestly can’t do it at that payment amount. What other options do I have?
I always recommend an income-based repayment plan if you need it. It just makes the most sense. And borrowers shouldn’t worry about the election – if anything changes, history tells us that it will just impact future borrowers, not existing ones. Each new payment plan, forgiveness program, etc. typically isn’t retro-active, but rather only impacts loans that originate in this year.
On IBR, your loan balance is forgiven after your repayment term (20 or 25 years). The best thing to do is make the payment you can afford. If you’re on IBR, and your payment is $0, you likely don’t have much income. If you can make extra payments, great – but don’t compromise other financial goals/issues to make extra payments (i.e. don’t get behind on car payments, go into credit card debt, etc.).
I have federal loans that are over 28 years old. I now owe around 45,000. After I graduated I got pregnant and my daughter had health issues that required me being her primary caregiver, at home. I had a note from her doctor stating that fact. (Should have said that these loans were before I got married). My husband has no part in any of them. I worked as an LPN for about 5 years after she was older and in those 5 years my husband lost his job and we filed bankruptcy and lost our house. In 2008, we moved to another state and I had to homeschool my daughter. After 8 years, my husband was laid off and was lucky enough to be transferred to another state. He bought a house in his name only and the bank account has always been in his name only, as well. He knows I have a large amount of student debt. Daughter is now in college and due to anxiety issues cannot drive. I have to drive her to college and to her therapy appointments. She is and has been unable to be home alone-although therapy is working on that, with her. As my husband works 2nd shift, I cannot work (she would have to be home alone). Loans have been in deferment/forbearance and I just received notice that my deferment is ending. I can’t do IBR because they would count my husbands income…and I have had zero income for about 8 years. I don’t know where to turn. We have been through so much with our daughter and we never intended to be a one income family. What do I do?? My husband can’t make a payment for me and I have no idea at this point (due to daughter’s therapy) when I can return to work. Someone suggested just not paying and filing an injured spouse every year. It’s just so stressful. Any help would be appreciated.
My granddaughter went to school locally for part of a qtr. (2015) She was actually pregnant before she started and then she couldn’t finish. She was a minority (ethnically) and received alot of bullying and couldn’t take it. She owes about $7,000. The school turned it over to a collection agency. She can’t afford to pay that back. She is single and now has another child. Can you give me any ideas to help on what she can do?
I have loans before 2007. My lender advised that I go through REPAYE. Because I’m getting married in 2016, I’d rather go under PAYE (in order to file married but seperate). If I consolidate my loans (which I’ve also been advised to do perhaps because some are Stafford and REPAYE doesn’t cover those???), would I then qualify for PAYE? What other benefits/consquences are there to consolidating loans?
I went through a state-funded program for vocational rehabilitation. The state’s classified me with a disability but I chose to get rehabilitated rather than go on SSI. Here’s the two part question. Based on this info would I still qualify as disabled even though I don’t collect Ssi ? And second I noticed that the school that the state put me through charged me $27,000 for that six months of training I can’t seem to get proof that I wasn’t supposed to be Billed. I think there’s fraud here but I can’t seem to prove it is there anything I can do in either case?
FFEL Consolidation Loan to use the no accrual of interest benefit for active duty service members, which states that you’re not required to pay the interest that accrues during periods of qualifying active duty military service (for up to 60 months) on the portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan that repaid a Direct Loan Program or FFEL Program loan first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2008.
Hoping you can provide some assistance as I get extremely confused with all the different options. Currently have 2 Consolidated Loans thru Navient equaling ~11K. They were consolidated in 12/2002. Was paying on previously but that is last time consolidated. Paying since 1997. I know I have definitely paid the loan probably twice now and just can’t get ahead as a single mom.
You — or your co-signer— typically need credit scores that are at least in the high 600s. Many refinance lenders seek borrowers with scores in the mid-700s. The better your (or your co-signer’s) credit, the better the rate you’ll likely qualify for. Additionally, you need enough income to comfortably cover your expenses, student loan payments and and other debts.

I owed 160,000 on student’s loans; I qualified for the 10 years forgiveness plan. I have been paying since 2007. My income is not that high, so I have to get a second job in order to be able to make the payments for the student loans. Last year, I found out that none of the payments I made since 2009 qualified for the 10 years forgiveness program, because I was paying under the wrong plan and not the IBR plan, nobody told me that in order to qualified for the 10 year forgiveness program the condition was to be under the IBR payment. Although, the payments before were higher than what I’m paying now under the IBR plan.
Consolidating multiple student loans or refinancing a single private student loan may lower your monthly payment if you qualify for a lower interest rate or a longer repayment period. Keep in mind that extending the repayment term may increase the total amount you pay over the life of the loan. Alternatively, if you choose a shorter repayment term than your current loans, your monthly payments may increase, but the total amount you pay may be less over the life of the loan.
FFEL Consolidation Loan to use the no accrual of interest benefit for active duty service members, which states that you’re not required to pay the interest that accrues during periods of qualifying active duty military service (for up to 60 months) on the portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan that repaid a Direct Loan Program or FFEL Program loan first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2008.

Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of October 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.05%. Variable interest rates range from 2.25%- 9.24% (2.25%-9.24% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 3.45%-9.49% (3.45% - 9.49% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens One is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.


Your credit score is a barometer of your financial responsibility. Most lenders evaluate your credit score (or its underlying components), and want to ensure that you meet your financial obligations and have a history of on-time payments. Generally, top lenders expect a minimum credit score in the mid to high 600's, while others do not have a minimum.
Closed school discharge. You may qualify for loan discharge if your school closes. At the time of closure, you must have been enrolled or have left within 120 days, without receiving a degree. If you qualify, contact your loan servicer to start the application process. You’ll need to continue making payments on your loan while your application is being processed. If you’re approved, you will no longer have to make loan payments and you may be refunded some or all of the past payments you made on the loan.
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