You are now leaving the SoFi website and entering a third-party website. SoFi has no control over the content, products or services offered nor the security or privacy of information transmitted to others via their website. We recommend that you review the privacy policy of the site you are entering. SoFi does not guarantee or endorse the products, information or recommendations provided in any third party website.
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 currently owe 385,000 in student loans. My loans are a combination of undergraduate, law school and and LL.M degree. All of these loans are also at varying interest rates, from 5.8-8.5 and dating back to 2003. They are all federal and are direct, ffel, etc. One of the things I don’t understand is interest. I am currently on IBR which makes my payments affordable. But unfortunately I don’t make enough money to put a dent in the principal. Although my goal is to make more money, I just had the interest on my loan capitalized to the current amount because I did not recertify my IBR on time (this is my first year on IBR). I applied for reinstatement of IBR so I am waiting on approval. My question is, hypothetically if I am not able to increase my salary significantly enough to put a dent in the principal, will I owe BOTH the principal and the unpaid interest at the end of the 25 year term? And what happens to the unpaid interest while I am in repayment?

Rates and offers current as October 1, 2019. 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 3.48% APR to 6.03% APR and Variable Rate range from 2.67% APR to 7.41%. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 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.This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
I am conflicted bc after reading your articles I feel like it will still make more sense for me to switch plans (in order to pay 10% of income as opposed to 15% monthly and bc I have not paid much off my debt thus far in a few years). However, my family has advised me that I need to see real numbers to know how much I will owe when my loans are forgiven in 25 years when my taxes are due. In my head adding an extra $35k to my $206k balance will be just the same when those taxes are due-seemingly impossible. But it is true that I do not know how to calculate the actual numbers to have a better idea of what kind of added interest the added $35k will make to my total that will be forgiven in 25yrs which I will then owe in taxes.

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)?


If any of the loans you want to consolidate are still in the grace period, you have the option of indicating on your Direct Consolidation Loan application that you want the servicer that is processing your application to delay the consolidation of your loans until closer to the grace period end date. If you select this option, you won’t have to begin making payments on your new Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to the end of the grace period on your current loans.
First off,this site offers great advice! I’m currently a teacher in CA and have been for 8 years. I have $46,000 left on my student loans. I’m pretty certain I qualify for $5,000 off of my loans for being a highly qualified teacher that has taught for 5 consecutive years (although I haven’t applied yet because I’d like to see if there are better options out there).However, are there any other options to lower my debt or even possibly have it forgiven? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Yes I’m in the process of filing an application for loan forgiveness for a parent plus loan I’ve got all the info and the original denial letter from sallie Mae that said I wasn’t able to get this loan then was given one how in the hell does this happen. My son attended that ITT Tech school back in 2010. Do you think I will get some forgiveness for the institute falsely misrepresented my credit history?
For details on how this program works, you definitely need to visit my page on the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program, but because the system is so complicated, and can take so long to get an approval or denial response, this is one situation where I recommend that EVERYONE hires a student loan expert for assistance in preparing the application.

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.
SoFi: 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.
I currently owe 385,000 in student loans. My loans are a combination of undergraduate, law school and and LL.M degree. All of these loans are also at varying interest rates, from 5.8-8.5 and dating back to 2003. They are all federal and are direct, ffel, etc. One of the things I don’t understand is interest. I am currently on IBR which makes my payments affordable. But unfortunately I don’t make enough money to put a dent in the principal. Although my goal is to make more money, I just had the interest on my loan capitalized to the current amount because I did not recertify my IBR on time (this is my first year on IBR). I applied for reinstatement of IBR so I am waiting on approval. My question is, hypothetically if I am not able to increase my salary significantly enough to put a dent in the principal, will I owe BOTH the principal and the unpaid interest at the end of the 25 year term? And what happens to the unpaid interest while I am in repayment?

This program is relatively easy to qualify for, and it can provide a great deal of value (at $4,000 per year, if it takes you 4 years to complete your undergraduate degree, then you could stand to receive $16,000 in TEACH Grant loans just for your undergraduate education), so it’s more than worth looking into if you’re interested in becoming a teacher.
I did the same thing. Paid a company to get my student loans into a rehab program. 7 months and almost $500 later, I am still in the same situation and nothing is being done. Its always one excuse after another. Please don’t pay someone to do what you can do for free youself. I just wish there was some way to get back that lost time and money. Good luck!

“Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” is a nickname for the William D. Ford Direct Loan program. The name came about when President Obama reformed part of the Direct Loan program in 2010 by signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.  As a result of expanded funding for federal student loans, more borrowers gained access to more options with loan repayment.
Additional info, after registering on studentaid.ed.gov I’ve confirmed my original loans were Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans. When I reconsolidated in 2004, they became FFE Consolidated Loans. So, based on this info, I understand that the only way I could take advantage of the public service program is if I reconsolidated my current balance into a Federal Direct consolidation loan and made an additional 10 years of payments. Do you interpret my circumstance in the same way?
In short, refinancing student loans generally does not hurt your credit. When getting your initial rate estimate, all that’s required is a ’soft credit inquiry,’ which doesn’t affect your credit score at all. Once you determine which lender has the best offer (Earnest, we hope), you’ll complete a full application. This application does require a ‘hard credit inquiry,’ which can have a minor credit impact (typically a few points). However, in the months and years after refinancing, your credit score should see steady improvement as you make on-time payments and pay down your debt.
Earnest: 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.
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.)
I filed for divorce in October 2016, our divorce won’t be final for two months yet. Because I married a high wage earner I have been paying $632/mo. On IBR, before marriage my payment was $107/mo. Can I file married but separate? Would you know if I need my husbands permission? He of course wants the higher tax break to benefit his bottom line- this is a contentious divorce- he is difficult to negotiate with. However, I need to secure a lower payment, one that reflects my new income.

Yes, you should rehabilitate your loans and get on an income-based repayment plan again. When on the plan, you might consider filing your taxes married filing separately. You need to talk to a tax professional and see if it makes sense, but if you do, they will only count your income for your loans (which is $0). That will make your payments $0. However, your husband will pay much more in taxes as a result, so it might not be worth it – you have to do the math. Here’s an article about that: IBR and Married Filing Separately.

To answer your specific question about loan forgiveness and retroactive qualification though, no, you would begin making qualifying payments as soon as you enrolled in the right repayment plan. The payments you’ve made up to that point do not count toward your 20 years’ worth of full, scheduled, on-time payments, at least how the law is currently written.


The Know Before You Owe Initiative – To ensure that graduates aren’t saddled with excessive monthly payments that would surely put them in the bread line, President Obama committed to offering them the ability to cap monthly student loan payments at just 10% of discretionary income, a move that would save some borrowers hundreds to thousands of dollars per month

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.
×