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.
1Laurel Road: Laurel Road Bank is a Connecticut banking corporation offering products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Laurel Road has helped thousands of professionals with graduate and undergraduate degrees across the country to refinance and consolidate over $3 billion in federal and private school loans, saving these borrowers thousands of dollars each. Lending services provided by Laurel Road Bank, Member FDIC. APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 4/05/2019. Rates subject to change. Fixed rate options consist of a range from 3.50% per year to 5.55% per year for a 5-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.00% per year for a 7-year term, 4.30% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 4.60% per year to 6.80% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.05% per year to 7.02% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan). The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.75% per year to 5.80% per year for a 5-year term would be from $183.04 to $192.40. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.25% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term would be from $137.84 to $147.29. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.55% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term would be from $103.88 to $114.31. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.85% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.30 to $90.16. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.30% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.66 to $79.16. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account. Variable rate options consist of a range from 2.25% per year to 6.05% per year for a 5-year term, 3.75% per year to 6.10% per year for a 7-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.15% per year for a 10-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.50% per year to 6.65% 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 0.25% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 1.50% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 1.75% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.00% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.25% to 4.40% 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 2.75% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term would be from $178.58 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. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account. 
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.

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.
My wife has two Navient loans. She was making regular payments but her principal kept growing. They would be months when none of her money was applied to principal even though she paid every thirty days. Then she would get a whopping accrued interest bill. We went to several agencies including CFPF protesting. They would ask Navient for a reply and accept anything Navient said and close the case.
All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default.  Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment.  Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.

After spending weeks communicating with other companies I had about given up on refinancing my loans. I decided to give one more company a try. Laurel Road (formerly DRB Student Loan) was such an easy online process I almost didn’t believe. I would recommend them to anyone. Student loans are stressful so it’s so nice knowing there’s a company out there to make the process as pain free as possible!
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.
Borrower defense to repayment discharge. Borrowers defrauded by their colleges may qualify for debt relief. You’ll need to file a borrower defense to repayment claim with the U.S. Department of Education. If you qualify, you may have your loans automatically discharged, at the discretion of the Education Department, if your school was involved in clear, widespread fraud or misrepresentation that affected a broad group of borrowers.

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.
I have two loans outstanding : 1) original in Jan 1997 from Sallie Mae and 2) original 2012 from Navy Federal. I am a nurse practitioner and cannot figure out how middle class people are supposed to qualify for these federal loan dismissal programs. I have been in graduate school for past 3 years paying as I go along. What is left for me to do to get these paid off or forgiven? Very frustrating to say the least.
Hi Robert, this is very helpful information you are posting here. My question is this. I am married with a single income (my income, spouse does not work). Both her and I have student loans. I have two that are in good standing – One federal loan that is currently on REPAYE, and another small private ALPLN type loan. My wife, has two loans of her own both federal which are sizeable. We’ve had those in and out of deferement/forebareance on and off for 3-4 years now based on her unemployment and time is up. We file married/joint. I’d like to get everything under control and get her loans on IBR with mine – my questions are do I have an option to do a consolidation and consolidate hers and mine together? Would it beneficial to file separate returns and keep her in deferment/forebarance because of the unemployment and/or lack of income? My income is not substantial and as it is we struggle to sustain our family but I’d be willing to pay all of the loans if the total payment were affordable.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
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 would just like to acknowledge your continued support and communication to the people who come to this site in search of answers – sometimes desperate, usually in despair, or incredibly stressed how to unearth the mountain of debt they’re under (including myself). I see this long thread of messages and I am astounded by your commitment to help nearly everyone that shares their story. So, short story long, THANK YOU for your work in bringing people direction, comfort, and help when they have no where else to turn. Even if you don’t receive much thanks, you are very much appreciated.
For help with PRIVATE Student Loans: Call McCarthy Law PLC at 1-877-317-0455. They will negotiate with your lender to settle your private loans for much less than you owe (typically about 40% your total outstanding balance), then get you a new loan for the much lower, settled amount so you can pay off the old deb, repair your credit and start making much lower monthly payments. NOTE: McCarthy Law can ONLY help with Private student loans, so please do not call them if you only have Federal loans. 

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.
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?
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.
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 had utilized student loans to obtain a BS and then went into the Army in September 2007. I was commissioned in September 2008. I have since obtained a MS and now my BS loans are starting to become due. I am Active Guard Reserves which means I’m a Reservist on permanent active duty. My student loans are over 800.00 a month and way too high to afford. Which if any of these forgiveness programs do I qualify for and who would I contact to initiate the process?
I make about 35k (my wife also makes about 38k — my wife and I file married but separate taxes — we have 3 kids.) I feel lost. I don’t know how I got so deep or how this got so out of control. Any help is appreciated. Do you think I qualify for these repayment programs? Which would be best for such an old defaulted loan? Is there a place (other than the collection agency) that can help guide me? Again I sincerely appreciate your article and advice.
Perkins Loan Discharges & Loan Cancellation for Nurses – Many people don’t realize it, but the “Teacher Loan Cancellation Program” also applies to Nurses, and allows full-time nurses (and medical technicians!) to write off 100% of their Perkins loans for five years of qualifying employment as a full-time nurse. The limitation on this program is that only Perkins loans are available for it, so you’d have to plan to use this one in advance of taking on debt.
LendKey: 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.

The NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC) – This program was previously called the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP), and was created to help encourage RN’s to work in underserved hospitals and clinics, by offering them the chance to write off some of their student loans for qualifying service. The way it works is that RN’s will are able to have 60% of their Nursing loans written off for serving 2 years at a qualifying facility, along with 25% more for 1 additional year. That’s a pretty dang good deal, but it means you’d have to be willing to work at an underserved hospital or clinic, which could be a stressful, frustrating experience.
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?
my loans are 72k and 3.5%. I am currently enrolled for the last two years under public service loan forgiveness. I do not qualify for IBR and am in the process of applying for PAYE. I have been paying my loans since 2007 but only under the PSLF since 2014. My question is..Is it worth it to stay under PSLF for another 8 years or switch back to a graduated payment plan for another 10 years that will give me lower payments. Which plan will result in the most loan forgiveness.
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