Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
You’ll have to evaluate your situation to decide whether refinancing federal student loans is a wise decision. For example, if you work in the public sector and could qualify for loan forgiveness in the future, you’d typically be better off keeping your federal loans. On the other hand, if you don’t work in the public sector and you’ve had no problems making your loan payments to date, then you may want to go ahead and refinance to save money on interest.
I came across your blog in my pursuit of refinancing my student loans which I consolidated back in 1999. I currently have a consolidated subsidized loan with approximately $25k outstanding, and a consolidated unsubsidized loan with approximately $35k outstanding. Both loans have a fixed rate of 7.25%. If it’s relevant, the owner of both loans is Keybank, and both loans are guaranteed by PHEAA. To my understanding, I have not been paying the loans back pursuant to any specific payment plan (e.g., IBR, PAYE, graduated repayment plan, etc.), but on a regular monthly payment plan amortized over a 30 year period. I took advantage of the deferment option for two (2) years in the past, and at my current interest rate and payment amount, I’m estimated to pay the loans off in 2032. My question to you is “Can my loans be forgiven in the 25 year period that I have read about in your blog?” If so, when would the 25 year period have begun for determining when my loans will be forgiven? If my loans are not able to be forgiven, what are my options if any (other than refinancing the loans to lower the interest rate)?
I graduated back in 1991. In 92 or 93 I consolidated about $23,000 dollars in student debt with Sallie Mae. Over the next several years I had to do Forbearance a few times but by 2008 I had made about $51,000 in payments and had a balance of around $27,000. The economy crashed and the non-profit I worked for had to drop my income – a lot. We had to short-sell our house. I picked up some side work and eventually left the non-profit (501c3) in 2010. I took another job and essentially started over from a career standpoint.
I have $60,000 in student loan debt from becoming a counselor, I was on the Public service forgiveness program on the IBR plan working at a social service agency, I made 5 years of qualifying payments but I recently left to go into private practice so I wouldn’t have to deal with insurance companies and productivity requirements, but I am assuming now being self employed, although I am doing the same kind off work, that this employment will no longer qualify for public service forgiveness, is this correct? Any suggestions on how to navigate this?
Federal student loans offer benefits that many other loans don't. One benefit is the ability to qualify for loan forgiveness—under special circumstances, the federal government may forgive part, or all, of your federal student loans. This means you're no longer obligated to make your loan payments. Another benefit is there may be some situations where you may qualify to have your loans cancelled or discharged.

I am currently on IBR repayment plan and have been now for 2 years. I am in my 5 year of teaching. When do I apply for Public Loan Forgiveness? Is it after I have taught 10 years? What if I take a year off due to having a child, will that affect my 10 years of working for the Public loan forgiveness? Also when would my loans be forgiven? I have tried speaking with rep from fed loan however I feel that I am even more confused than before. What exactly do I need to do to have loans forgiven?
Refinancing federal student loans means you turn them private. As a result, you lose access to federal programs, such as income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Some private lenders offer help if you run into financial hardship, but this varies by lender. If you’re relying on federal protections, then you should not refinance your federal student loans. But if you’re comfortable sacrificing these programs, refinancing could be a smart strategy for paying off your loans.
I had a 47,000 student loan from 1997. In 2008 I was a substitute teacher and was not able to get any kind of loan adjustments to save my home. I have since stayed with various relatives and today I received a letter from a debt collector stating that the loan has been turned over to them. The last time I moved I was able to get work as a substitute teacher again. School has just begun so I am not working yet. The letter says that I now owe almost 90,000. $40,000 has been added to my loan. What should I do and do I qualify for any kind of loan forgiveness. How is it different since, it has been turned over to a debt collector.

Refinancing has some big potential benefits, including the possibility of lowering your interest rate to save you money on accruing interest. Alternatively, it might reduce your payments to a more affordable level, if you’re willing to shell out more interest over time. A student loan refinancing calculator can calculate your potential savings (or cost).
My father was a policeman, killed in the line of duty, when I was fifteen years old. I am the oldest of six children. We have not had the help of a faher or mother to make things easier through my husband’s layoffs, etc. With three children I got tired of our financial sinking so, unfortunately, decided to go to college to make things better. At age 50 I received my bachelor’s degree, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. After being used and abused as a substitute for over 10 years, I could see I was too old and didn’t have a “rich” name to get in. Finally, I decided they could not stop me from making more income, so I drove 110 miles a day into a snow belt to college and worked two part time jobs, as I suffered through the stress of getting a Master’s Degree in Education. I worked for awhile as an adjunct professor and am now retired at 70. I still owe about $11,000 at the ridiculous rate of 6.25%. I have had deferments, but paid ahead when I could, to stay in good grace with Nelnet. Is there any chance of a loan forgiveness now that my retirement is only $380.00 a month, plus monthly social security of $700.00??? Could I get a forgiveness since I have been paying since 1998 and/or because my father was a policeman killed in the line of duty(and an army veteran)? (The original two loans were serviced through the bank and then given to Nelnet [which I did not authorize??]. I paid off my Master’s degree loan first because the loan was less, but the interest was higher.)
Forgiveness isn’t an option for defaulted loans. You’ll need to use consolidation or rehabilitation to get defaulted federal student loans in good standing before they’re eligible for forgiveness programs. If your loans won’t qualify for forgiveness, student loan settlement or bankruptcy may reduce your debt in severe cases. Defaulted federal loans are eligible for discharge programs.
Finally, where is all the money going? I get that your payments are a lot of money each month, but your husband makes a really good income, and you didn’t say, but with that much debt I would guess you have your masters and earn at least $50k per year. That’s $185,000 per year – after taxes you should still be bringing in $11,500. After his child support you should still be at $10,000 or so per month. A big house, food for all the kids, clothes, etc, maybe costs you $6,000 per month (and that’s being very generous). Where’s the other $4,000 going? Something is not adding up here.
I took out Federal loans, Perkins and Stafford Loans. Sallie Mae now handles them and consolidated my loans. I borrowed money for this education beginning in 1990. Interest has accumulated and as of today, I am not employed. I have filed forbearances, deferments, etc. and I keep accumulating interest and making no payments. I am wondering if I can qualify for “forgiveness” on this debt. It is now around $29,000.
Hello! I have over $120,000 in subsidized/unsubsidized student loans (not including interest). I was in dental school but I was dismissed due to failing. Now I’m stuck with loans for something I didn’t even earn. I didn’t have any loans while I was an undergraduate student, I had scholarships and grants. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s degree in public health, and I am preparing to begin a career as a teacher next year. I haven’t started paying loans yet because they’re still in deferment due to me being in school, but when I do I plan to do the IBR plan. I am hoping that I will also be able to qualify for public service loan forgiveness and teacher loan forgiveness. I believe that they’ll forgive up to $17,500 if I teach secondary science? Do you know if I could qualify for both forgiveness plans? Does teaching at a community college qualify me for public service or teacher loan forgiveness? Also, I understand that with the IBR, the loan can be canceled after 20-25 years. So, if I have the PSLF, it will be canceled in 10 years instead, correct? I also had a scholarship at the dental school that was turned into a loan because I didn’t complete the program and graduate to work in a rural area. However, I was dismissed, I didn’t voluntarily withdraw from the school. Now they’re expecting me to pay over $50,000 back, with about $20,000 of it behind and being sent to collections because they would not work with me to set up a payment arrangement (I didn’t have a job at the time). What can I do about that? Could I file bankruptcy to get rid of it? Any advice you can give will be wonderful.
You can refinance one or more federal and/or private student loans, but you must meet a lender’s requirements for credit and income. Most lenders look for a credit score of 650 or higher, along with a steady source of income or an offer of employment. If you can’t meet these criteria on your own, you could qualify by applying with a creditworthy cosigner, such as a parent.
I went back to college at 35, just to get the piece of paper because I couldn’t get an accounting job without a degree after moving to a college town, even with nearly 20 years experience. Because of my hour commute to the next state for work, my most flexible choice was Univ of Phoenix online. I graduated in 2011, and went into repayment in March 2012. I paid 1 loan off before graduation and I’ve paid ahead since then, killing off 1 loan at a time so I’m down to only 5 loans left, with 1 of them paid down so it’ll pay off over a year early. Because I had my payment frozen a couple years ago, I’m also paying about $50 extra a month. I haven’t worked in almost a year and a half for medical reasons, and am waiting for a disability appeal hearing because I was denied on a technicality, so my boyfriend has been covering my student loan payment to protect my credit, and because I was raised that you pay what you owe. Am I better off continuing as is or will an IBR program not hurt my credit standing? It’s not that he minds, but I feel bad about him paying it when I can’t work.

I have been working for a non profit public university for the past 4 years and loyally paying on my loans…under a graduated repayment plan 🙁 I thought my payments qualified! Nobody ever told me a graduated repayment plan would disqualify me from loan forgiveness! I feel like I’ve lost 4 years that I desperately needed toward paying these off. What do I do??? Is there any way to make those 4 years count? The plans that do qualify were only $30 a month more than what I’ve been paying, it seems so silly…and now I’m so discouraged…
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Additional student loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs): There may be other national or organizational student loan repayment assistance programs offered for public service professions. The National Institutes of Health, for example, offers up to $35,000 in debt assistance annually to health professionals who are appointed by the institutes to conduct research. The American Bar Association has a list of state LRAPs for lawyers.
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