State-sponsored repayment assistance programs. Licensed teachers, nurses, doctors and lawyers in certain states may be able to take advantage of programs to assist with repaying debt. For example, the Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program will pay up to $3,000 per year for a maximum of four years on undergraduate educational loans to teachers with a specific teaching license for each year of teaching full time in a particular geographical or subject area. Contact your state’s higher education department to find out if you qualify for a program.


I have had a student loan since 1990 when I was 17years old. It started out as a $3500 and today (27 years later) I owe $4500 – how is this possible? I remember 2 years ago i was scheduled to receive $2600 back in federal taxes and they took it all….I have attended college 3 times and I know that had to have been in good standing as well as in deferment so how can i owe more now than I did when I got the loan? I am currently in a rehabilitation program paying $5 a month but the interest continues to grow I will never get out from underneath this gray cloud. Believe me if I had the money I would pay it. I owe peanuts compared to some. Why are they allowed to have the interest accrue on a school loan. Just seems wrong.
Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply. Borrowers whose loans were funded prior to reaching the age of majority may not be eligible for co-signer release. Note: co-signer release is not available on the Student Loan for Parents or Education Refinance Loan for Parents.
I’m looking for options. I’m currently defaulted on $27,000 and in the process of applying for a discharge due to the school not ensuring my ability to benefit (I did not graduate high school and did not have a GED, yet they never gave me any sort of test to determine if I’d be able to benefit from my chosen program), which I assume will be approved, however currently they’re taking my tax refund (which I really cannot afford to lose) so if for whatever reason I’m denied I am hoping to have options so I don’t continue to have my tax refunds taken.
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.
Refinancing student loans makes sense for many people if they are eligible. For starters, student loan consolidation (which is included in the student loan refinancing process) simplifies the management of your monthly payments. Refinancing allows you to consolidate both your federal and private loans, select a repayment term that makes sense for you, and often lower your interest rate. Here at Earnest, the entire application process is online, and you could have your new low interest rate loan in less than a week. Borrowers who refinance federal student loans should be aware of the repayment options that they are giving up. For example, Earnest does not offer income-based repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness. It’s possible to consolidate federal student loans (Federal Perkins, Direct subsidized, Direct unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans) with a Direct Consolidation Loan from the Department of Education, but this will not allow you to lower your interest rate and private student loans are not eligible.
Should she be eligable for a possible $0 monthly payment with no income even though we file jointly, or does the fact that we are married mean my income has to contribute to her ability to pay? This is where it has been unclear to me. Can she report her income on the IBR paperwork as $0 even though she’s filed on my tax return as joint? If that is the case completely agree that with no income she should qualify for a $0 payment but I was under the impression that I had to use our tax return AGI for both our IBR forms.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)


I just wanted to comment on how dedicated you are to helping people Robert. You have provided prompt clear responses, with impressive information to every single person who commented on your article. I will share this with friends. I was fortunate to be in healthcare/non-profit & have a Perkins loan that was forgiven after 5 years. Thank you for your dedication to your field & being such an amazing person to give your time to answer all these questions. Kudos to you!
Tim, I took out loans under similar circumstances. I know the loans were federal but I have no idea what the program was. I know they weren’t Perkins loans and I’m not sure if they were Stafford loans or not but I think they were. The loans were serviced by SalieMae from inception starting around 1994. I moved out of forbearance, consolidated the loan to a 25 year repayment plan and have made every payment since September of 2004. I’ve also been a public sector (state) employee since 2002. I’m having trouble determining if my loans qualify. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program stipulates that “only loans you received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program are eligible for PSLF.” I’ve never heard of the program and assume it was created concurrent or subsequent to the inception of this program in 2007. Does that mean I am only eligible if I took out the original loans, or consolidated my loans after a certain date?
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)?
Yes it does. I think my wife needs to certify the employment and do more with the PSLF as I think the loan officer that told her about it did not say anything about recertifying… I am hoping she can get certified then and possibly still make it work because she has been at her current public teaching job 9+ years and I hope her digging more into it can get it all certified and her loan taken care of.
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.
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?
On the one hand, I can see that I have agreed to work in public service for at least 10 years, making no less than 120 qualifying payments, and my loan payments are adjusted according to my income. So, I can see that this might be seen as a service obligation. On the other hand, I am not limited by FedLoan to work in a specific geographic location (major metropolitan area or rural area), for a specific company (state government, non-profit mental health agency, etc.), or for a specific time frame.

What about consolidating? I was paying for years on my loan, decided to consolidate for a lower monthly payment and then was told about the public loan forgiveness plan. Long story short, I had to start the payment process all over! They say there is nothing I can do about that now… do you know if there is a way to get those previous payments counted? I mean it all goes to the same place in The end… department of Ed! So annoyed!
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