I have loans with Navient. I had thought these were federal student loans….but I saw that someone mentioned that they had loans with Sallie Mae (No Navient), and you told them they were private loans and that there is no forgiveness for private loans. ?? Why do my loans at Navient say “Federal Student Loans”?? These are consolidated loans. Are they indeed private? Sorry, this is all so confusing.

Your best option would be to find a way to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers total forgiveness after just TEN years of payments (instead of the typical 20). To qualify for PSLF, you’ll need to work for the Government, a Non-Profit, or some other position that is included on the eligibility guidelines. See my page on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (linked above) for a breakdown of the details.
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 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)?
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
I have been forbearing my loans and on my credit report for the last couple of years shows that my payments have been made on time. As of the last couple of years I haven’t worked due to pregnancy and staying at home caring for our child. I’m not married, but my significant other does claim our children and myself. If I qualify for the $0 repayment plan, will he be responsible for the remaining balance at the end of the loan terms? Since he claims me on his taxes, is it possible for them to go after him?
I was called this morning from a loan company that calls me everyday but today I decided to answer. They told me they were from Allied Navient and wanted to take my loans from 35,428.06 to 2394.08. Is this a scam? The first person that I talked to when I answered seemed like he was paid to just break through the wall that I put up! The second person had my info and when I seemed interested in her offer she got me to a manager! He got on the phone and immediately took the offer to 1597.00 to put me in good standing? I have resources (friend) available to help but I don’t want to put him in that situation! He also wouldn’t give me the money until I researched to find out if I was getting scammed as he had never heard of that kind of offer!
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?
To request technical assistance while you are signed in and completing the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note online, select the “Contact Us” tab in the top menu bar of StudentLoans.gov. From there, you can either complete and submit the feedback form or select “Additional Information” and contact the Student Loan Support Center at the phone number provided.
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.
Hello Robert, so i have set up a income based repayment plan. The lowest payment for me to make is 600 a month and with my other debts and private student loans i can not afford this amount. I want to make payments but this is just way to much. They said this is based on income and that it is my only option. How can i pay a lesser amount with out being penalized? I am a school counselor.
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.
4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
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?
This site does not negotiate, adjust or settle debts. All federal student borrowers are able and encouraged to apply for any federal repayment or forgiveness programs through the US Department of Education for free without paying fees to any entity. Nothing on this site constitutes official qualification or guarantee of result. StudentDebtRelief.us is a private company not affiliated with the Department of Education of the Federal Government.

Hello Robert, I recently read your post about FedLoan servicing which is my student loan servicer. I am a recent grad and my loans have just exited their grace period. I have been in the process for about 2 months now to try and switch to a pay as you earn or an income based plan. My application is in, but have not heard about processing. Any advice on how to achieve and get news about this with FedLoan servicing?
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.
Their seems to be no provision made to forgive student loans at the time of 9/11 and the years following when so many middle class families who were and still are, bearing the brunt of supporting the economy and cities by continuing to pay taxes even when the lower income are not required to. Most middle class families took student loans and lost everything after 9/11.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
RePAYE is a modified version of PAYE that has become available to borrowers after December 17, 2015. Unlike PAYE, which was available for loans taken out after 2007, RePAYE is open to all Direct Loan Borrowers, regardless of when the loan was taken out. The repayment plan still caps your payment at 10% of your discretionary income, and the loan will be forgiven after 20 years.
Hi, Robert. I have two loans, one through Navient that the interest has been paid off on and the principal is down to 16,000. I have another loan for 19,000 through Great Lakes that just went into repayment. Between the two loans my payments are around 350 a month. I’m looking into the IBR but don’t want to start over on a 198-month term since my first loan is from 2003 and I’ve already paid the interest. I also work for a non-profit as an RN so I want to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Is it worth it to start over with a new term?
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.

It depends on where you work today and what type of loans you have. It’s not about your school or what you did or didn’t do. Do you work in public service? Do you have Federal loans? If so, you’ll likely qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you have Federal loans, you’ll likely qualify for one of the repayment plans above that includes forgiveness.
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
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.
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.
My husband and I have only been married for 4 years. He is 49 and I am 42. He has 4 kids but 2 only in high school, one in college, and one just went through Marine boot camp training for the Nat. Reserves. He is a CRNA making 135K paying $1500 in child support (joint custody). I am a teacher (7th full year), with 2 children receive zero child support (joint custody). He has $225K loan debt and I have $125K loan debt. The last two years we filed separately and on the IBR program. This helped him because his was originally a Graduated plan. At this time he pays $600 on one loan and $200 on another loan(I believe it is the private loan). I pay $0 now based on this plan.
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!
I graduated in 2003, joined military (national guard) in 2005 in order to get student loan payments paid off. In between that time they tacked on an extra 10k. After all this time of making 300.00 payments a month I am no closer to paying off these loans. I consolidated them in 2004, and that 3rd party company added the money wrongfully. I served two tours overseas. Do I have any options?
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
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.
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.
To jump off her question a little – I’m a former teacher turned SAHM homeschooling our three children. When applying annually for the REPAYE program, do I have to show that I’ve been searching for employment? Or is it enough to apply jointly with my husband and send in documentation for his income? I do not plan to job search or go back to work anytime soon as I intend to continue homeschooling. I’m just wondering how that choice will affect our eligibility for programs such as REPAYe. (My husband and I both have eligible federal student loans).

One of the best solutions refinancing can provide is a lower rate on your student loans. If you have good credit and a stable monthly income, you can apply to refinance in an attempt to get a much lower interest rate than the one you currently have. This is a wise option, especially if you have high-interest private student loans. With a lower interest rate, you can pay less on your loans overall since more of your payment will go toward the principal balance.
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.