Yes. You can choose to consolidate while you are still in school, during your grace period or after your grace period expires. If you choose to consolidate while you are still in school or during your grace period, you will lose any remaining grace period on the loans that you are consolidating, and you will begin making payments approximately 30-45 days after your loan is disbursed.
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!
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?
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.
I was on PAYE program for couple of years after grace period ended. Each year I submitted copies of my paystubs. This year, however, instead of paystubs I was only allowed to submit tax returns. Since we filed jointly with my domestic partner (not married, live and have a child together), my “income” has drastically increased. Hence, I was not qualified for PAYE. Although, we live together and file taxes jointly, I think it’s wrong to dismiss my actual income. I work part-time and dont make too much at all, so I’m barely able to meet the standard monthly payments. Is there any way around submitting your taxes to qualify for PAYE?

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.


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?
GREAT Article and it gave me hope. I’m a Graphic Designer and many programs do not offer assistance to Creatives. It’s tough! My Federal Loans are $50,000 + I have Private loans as well. The payments continue, but my balance has barely moved in 10yrs. Question, I checked out Ameritech Financial, the company you suggest, but they DO NOT service Colorado. I’ve exhausted my efforts and need HELP! Does Anyone have suggestions for Companies/Institution that assist with Federal Student Loan Evaluation in Colorado? Do want to get scammed!!
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

My advice for you is to first sign up for one of the Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans so that your monthly payments are dropped to an affordable amount, then get on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (I think your status as a Reservist on permanent active duty will qualify, but you’ll have to double check on that), which will allow you to get your loans discharged after making payments for a set number of years, no matter how much debt remains.
Do student loans ever “expire”? I have about $ 11,000 in student loans from 1984-1988 from before we were married. They were consolidated around 1998. I have been a stay at home mom since 1993. We now have 8 kids, Our budget has always been tight, & although we will have my husbands student loans paid off in 2 years, there never has been enough extra to make consistent payments on mine. My loans have have been in & out of forbearance, deferment, rehabilitation, etc. They have been in default (again) for some time. Last year they took our income tax return. Now the collection compay is suggesting another rehabilitation – but I am a stay at home mom and don’t expect to ever have my “own” income. Is my husband obligated to pay my loans from his salary? Can they put a lien on our home? Should I be even considering signing these rehab forms? They want to set us up on a year of monthly payments I am not even sure we can meet. And after the loan is rehabilitated & some other company buys it I am sure our payments will increase. I feel like I am lying by agreeing to make these payments, as I am not sure we can. What should I do? – Thank you!
Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.
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?

I’ve been making about $200 payments on my combined 2 private loans and $0 payments on my Direct/Stafford loans under the Income Driven Repayment plan for about 5 years now. Every year I have to send my information to renew the plan before I’m charged $500+ a month. So I’m a bit confused about how after the payment plan ends the loan will be forgiven. Am I missing some fine print somewhere?
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.
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?

Specific Annual Percentage Rate (APRs) offered within these ranges will depend on a variety of factors including your creditworthiness and other application details. Annual percentage rates (APRs) reflect 0.25% discount for optional enrollment in autopay. Your approval for an Earnest Loan is subject to the full underwriting of your loan application. Read more about qualifying for a loan with Earnest here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍ All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.19% effective August 10, 2019.

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.


Could you clarify the difference between the 10 year and 25 year loan forgiveness? I’m interested only in the 10 year as I may not be able to work for 25 years being in my mid forties. My loan amount is $40K, I expect to earn gross $65-70K per year, I am married but separated, and my husband’s income is very variable but on the low side (gross $45K/year) and he files business income as he works from home part time. Will the PSLF allow me to work for 10 years and forgive my loan and must I file married separately or jointly. I just graduated and am about to end my grace period so my monthly payment will be due soon. I will also be starting work in the next month.
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.
You job qualifies you, but the graduated repayment program does not until your graduated payment exceeds your 10-year standard payment (which typically doesn’t happen until the last few years of repayment). You need to switch repayment plans to standard 10-year, IBR, PAYE, RePAYE, or ICR – then you need to see if you’ll even have a balance left after 10 years.

Great information, but I have a question. I had to consolidate my loans since they were not with a federal loan servicer. I am starting to repay my loans, ($200K). I have been working the last 17 years for local governments in my area. Is it true I have to be making payments at the same time I am working for the loan governments or it does not count for loan forgiveness under Public Service Forgiveness program? I am nearing retirement and this could be a problem.


In 1994, I started at ITT. I applied for CAD, I thought I was going to take classes for CAD. Then I was told I tested higher in Electronics and I wld make more money in that field. I was 22 at the time, just married and had a child. So, I went with it. I was lied to from the beginning. I was only in the school 3 months at best. I have had hardship most of my adult life. Stuggling to make ends meet. I originally had my loan through William D Ford Direct Loans. I belive my loan was only 2k to start. Now its at 18k. I kept putting on a deferment. I explained about my hardship. This is what was recommended. Now my loan is at Navient..They want me to pay on this for 25 yrs and then they will give me a loan forgiveness. I’ll probably be be dead by then. Is their any way I can get a forgiveness on this loan now?
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.
I went to a community college in SE Missouri. A financial/education advisor was assigned to me like every other student. After receiving next to no true help from my assigned advisor, at my adamit request I was denied using any other then the one assigned. I must admit She did help with my decision to become a history teacher with great enthusiasm. Although she was a great help with setting my goal she gave me no instruction to accomplish my goal outside of what Prerequisite classes where required and what financial options where available. Nothing about what was required of me nor how to properly handle the responsibility that came along with the financial assistance I required. But the worst part was she couldn’t comprehend the details for the post 9/11 GI Bill causing her to provide inaccurate information as well as refused to take in the fact that I was unable to go full time and seemed to be quite annoyed that I wouldn’t cut out my income to follow the rules ”I” discovered the GI Bill required for assistance. Having been out of school for as long as I had and being ignorant to the financial assistance programs I made decisions on what little information I was able to muster, needless to say I became quite overwhelmed and was incapable of performing the tasks required. I then gave into her insistent advice and went full time to take advantage of free government assistance. This, was not a good decision on my part so I dropped a class (with correct/incorrect info I was able to drop one class without penalty) so I chose to drop biology having been the class I was struggling the most with this put me over a half a credit causing me to loose my GI Bill as well as Pell Grant. I also took out a federal loan to subsidize my lost income due to going full time. I didn’t go back the next semester because of my lost assistance and fear of putting myself into more debt. That being said, time has gone by and I’m more informed and less intimidated but can’t seem to come up with a plan to accomplish my goal/dream to teach. I can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a full time semester to get my assistance’s back. How can I go about loan deferral to gain approval for one more loan?
Refinancing my student loans through Laurel Road is the best thing that could have happened for my personal finances. The online application was very straightforward and I was approved within a week of applying. The customer service has been nothing but professional, promptly answering any questions I have about my account. Throughout the lifetime of my loan I will save over $20,000!
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.19% effective August 10, 2019.
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.
Forgiven loans may be taxable. Generally, forgiven, canceled or discharged student debt is taxed as income unless you were required to work for a certain type of employer or in a certain profession to qualify for the forgiveness. For instance, loans discharged through Public Service Loan Forgiveness are not taxable, but debt forgiven through income-driven repayment plans is taxable. Loans discharged upon a borrower’s death or permanent disability were previously taxed as income, but the latest tax code changed that. Loans discharged for this reason after Dec. 31, 2017, are not taxable.
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