It's important to note that while these "secret" student loan forgiveness options could be helpful to some borrowers, for others they may result in tax consequences (see taxes and student loan forgiveness). Under current IRS rules, you may be required to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven if you still have a remaining balance at the end of your repayment period for any of these plans. The only exception to this is currently PSLF, which is tax free loan forgiveness.

Automatically withdrawn payment discount (“ACH”) — You may qualify for a 0.25% interest rate discount during repayment if you set up automatically withdrawn payments (ACH), directly with Wells Fargo Education Financial Services (EFS), from a designated deposit account. This discount does not apply to bill pay or automatic transfers not set up directly with Wells Fargo EFS. If the automatic payment is canceled at any time after repayment begins, the discount will be lost until automatic payment is reinstated. The 0.25% interest rate reduction is effective the day after the first payment is made using automatic withdrawal during the repayment period. The discount reduces the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. The automatic payment discount may not change your monthly payment amount depending on the type of loan you receive, but may reduce the number of payments or the amount of your final payment. ACH payments and discount will discontinue upon entering deferment or forbearance periods.
Should she be eligable for a possible $0 monthly payment with no income even though we file jointly, or does the fact that we are married mean my income has to contribute to her ability to pay? This is where it has been unclear to me. Can she report her income on the IBR paperwork as $0 even though she’s filed on my tax return as joint? If that is the case completely agree that with no income she should qualify for a $0 payment but I was under the impression that I had to use our tax return AGI for both our IBR forms.
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?
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: 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.

I just have come across your website and this blog. A job well done, and thank you! I had to step down from my career in September of 2009 and file for disability. I was awarded full disability in August of 2011, and it was retroactive back to the time of initial filing – in September of 2009. I have been utilizing forbearance all this time, not knowing about “TPD Discharge” until this past week. My forbearance is up in six days, from today (according to Navient (formally Sallie Mae as I am sure you know), and I only have a little time left on forbearance – “student loan debt burden.” I have always paid any debt I owed and had full intentions of doing this as well. However, I had no clue my health and a surgery in 2011 to correct the “issue” would go awry overnight. I have read some on the “total and permanent disability discharge” and see that if they approve they would monitor you for five years to make sure you did not return to work. My goal is to return to work. I refuse to take “no” for an answer from a lot “people.” I just lost almost four years of returning to work after surgery due to the “mess up” with the surgery, and the fact that a neurosurgeon will not see a prior surgical patient until after a three-year-mark from the original surgery. I finally have consult appointments with to NS’s the first of December. Do you know if the TPD Discharge is retroactive (or if I can even apply if I am looking for it to be retroactive?” As well, I need to do something, quickly as my forbearance ends in six days, as I stated above. Would you suggest applying for a new forbearance right now and then embarking on the TPD Discharge? I feel horrible about this as I always pay my debt, but the interest and such is accruing, I do not make the money I used to make, no matter how much I made all these years working, your disability income is not substantial to survive on a “bare note” these days. I just need some help in understanding or if you have any thoughts about what to do. Thank you again for your help. I hope you enjoy your weekend!
I was hoping you could clear up some terminology for me. I have two types of loans (“FFEL Stafford Subsidized” and “FFEL Stafford unsubsidized”) which have been consolidated in to two “FFEL consolidated” loans. Is it true that any time I see the term FFEL that means it’s not direct and does not qualify for PSLF? I thought I understood this, but on the in the glossary it says: “Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are sometimes called “’Stafford Loans’.” That makes it sound like any Stafford loan is a direct loan.
Thank you. The article you referenced states that the AGI is minus personal exemptions and itemized deductions…which is wrong. “Adjusted Gross Income is calculated before the itemized or standard deductions” from a tax website. I WISH it was after exemptions and itemized deductions as that is a huge, huge difference in the AGI…but it’s not. My payment is supposed to be $400 based on my husbands income alone and their is no way we can do that now…none. If find SOME job to make that $400, the payment will just go UP…which is crazy. It’s like you cannot win. It seems to make no sense for me to work at all….which is wrong. Filing separately seems to be a choice, but we have a daughter in college and would lose the education deductions, etc. This whole thing is crazy if it makes more financial sense for me to not work at all! Or I guess he could file injured spouse year after year, but I just don’t understand why they won’t just consider MY income. Sorry for venting, just frustrated.
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!

I was a teacher for almost 15 years at three different Title I schools which qualified me for the “service related” but I never took advantage of it because I was making good money. I decided to change jobs and to work for New York State in a juvenile detention center as a teacher, and I lost that job. I have been two years with out a job and no unemployment for the past year, so this doesn’t qualify me for the “service related” forgiveness plan. What should I do?
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.45% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.05% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.49% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 11, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Savings calculations are based on refinancing $121,825 in student loans at an existing loan servicer’s interest rate of 7.5% fixed APR with 10 years, 6 months remaining on the loan term. The other lender’s savings and APR (light green line) represent what would happen if those loans were refinanced at the other lender’s best fixed APRs. The Earnest savings and APR (white line) represent refinancing those loans at Earnest’s best fixed APRs.
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.
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.

Did you stop paying your loans? If they went into Delinquency or Default, then you won’t be able to get approved for another Federal loan until you fix that. I would recommend that you read through my Guide to Student Loan Delinquency and Default, then look at my page on Student Loan Rehabilitation. I think these will be your best options for getting back into repayment status so you can get approved for a new loan.
Total and permanent disability discharge. If you cannot work due to being totally and permanently disabled, physically or mentally, you may qualify to have your remaining student loan debt canceled. To be eligible, you’ll need to provide documentation proving your disability. Once your loans are discharged, the government may monitor your finances and disability for three years. If you don’t meet requirements during the monitoring period, your loans may be reinstated. Details on the application process are available at