Next, you can choose what type of interest rate you want when you refinance. Variable-rate student loans can cost you less to start, but there’s the possibility that the interest rate goes up later. As a general rule, a variable-rate loan works well when you only need a couple years to pay off the balance, but you may also want to read more about choosing between fixed and variable student loan refinancing.
There is no application fee to consolidate your federal education loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. You may be contacted by private companies that offer to help you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, for a fee. These companies have no affiliation with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or ED’s consolidation loan servicers. There’s no need to pay anyone for assistance in getting a Direct Consolidation Loan. The application process is easy and free.

I am not in default. My loans are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. I have a recent print out of my credit report and other than naming Nelnet as my holder and labeled as a subsidized/unsubsidized loan I don’t know what “kind” they are. From my recollection, and from what I can tell on my report, they are federal loans. My primary loans were for $21,000 and $23,000. My current balance is about $64,000 from my last online statement from Nelnet. I did notice that my interest is now at 3.5%. That was a happy surprise, however, I still owe that extra 50% of what I borrowed. Additionally, Nelnet recently decided on their own to put me on a forbearance. I never asked for that! I called and was told they could not stop the forbearance and I could simply continue to pay. I was stunned to say the least.


Variable rate options consist of a range from 2.50% 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, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 4.50% per year to 6.65% 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. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.45% to 4.25% for the 5-year term loan, 1.95% to 4.30% for the 7-year term loan, 2.20% to 4.35% for the 10-year term loan, 2.45% to 4.60% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.70% to 4.85% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 2.50% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term would be from $177.47 to $194.73. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.00% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term would be from $136.69 to $147.77. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term would be from $102.44 to $113.04. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 15-year term would be from $76.50 to $87.94. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.75% per year to 6.90% per year for a 20-year term would be from $64.62 to $76.93.
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.
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 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.
Robert I really appreciate what you are doing here. This student loan thing is so complicated. I am the parent of a grad-student who graduated in May with a degree in film (screenwriting) we co-signed on his private loans ($130k) and he still doesn’t have permanent/full time work. We have spoken to the loan provider and they want us to repay the loans since our son can’t yet. I don’t know how many of these options are available for private loans. Right now they want $1100 per month, which we can’t pay and neither can our son. We should never have co-signed because now its going to affect our credit and his. What are out options? Thanks
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.).
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.
Thank you for such a quick reply. We are in this together:) The payment they said that we would owe, using his income alone, would be $368.00 each month. That is not possible in any way, at this time. After the house payment, vehicle payment and insurance, along with utilities, food, gas, therapy for my daughter, it’s just not. I also was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm earlier in the year and our deductible for that was $4,000……another payment. I should have said that I drive my daughter to college and we live 25 miles from college and from her therapy appointments…so lots of gas. I am thinking the best thing would be to file separately. If I get any sort of work at home job…which I am trying to do, it would just make that payment go up! So, now we are going to have to tighten our belts because we may/may not get a refund next year.
In the early 1990’s I was an “adult learner” (25 yrs old), a single parent, living on my own, having zero child support and receiving some forms of welfare assistance while I was employed and attended school full-time. I did not qualify for scholarships and had to take out school loans to supplement my schooling cost and used the loan “refund” to pay my living bills (utilities) for 6-8 months ahead in the event I couldn’t or didn’t have the money to make my bills at that given time. I attended an accredited school 4 years, graduated with 2 associate degrees and began working almost immediately. However, due to HMO’s and my chosen field’s national organization, Occupational Therapy, not really pushing the benefits of OT/COTA nor explaining to the public what it was exactly, the facility where I was employed fazed all COTA’s out. After a short period of time I went back to school, a trade school (Cosmetology), had to apply for loans again and again, did not qualify for scholarships.
i had a student loan that i got before i got married , my husband has been filing me on his taxes for almost nine years now and just so happen the us department of education took part of his taxes last year. we were told that if i didnt earn an income that they could not take his taxes because that would b against the law because i didnt earn it. is that true? and if so how can i get his money back cause they sed they can not give it back
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.
Im so happy I found your site. I need help. I owe $270,000 in student loans from medical school. $60,000 of it is from private loans. Both my subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans have been in repayment for 10 years. My balance has actually gone up approx. $25,000. Due to interest and two short term forebearances. I discovered IBR plan last year and qualified, but this year i will not qualify. Im stuck and feel like I will be paying this well beyond retirement years. Im 40 yrs old.
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?

My 120 qualifying payments could take me 20+ years to eventually make if I let it. With the NHSC program, the requirements are much more specific, rural area, two year commitment, etc. I am interested in potentially applying for the NHSC program as well. I know that the two programs work differently and I am wondering if you know whether or not they could be used simultaneously? Are you aware of whether or not this has this been done before?
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.

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.
Along with your credit score and annual income, some lenders also look at your savings and debt-to-income ratio. Finally, some lenders require proof of graduation, as they’ll only approve borrowers who have obtained their degree. If you left school before graduating, there are relatively few student loan refinance providers that will work with you.

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!
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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