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).
“Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” is a nickname for the William D. Ford Direct Loan program. The name came about when President Obama reformed part of the Direct Loan program in 2010 by signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.  As a result of expanded funding for federal student loans, more borrowers gained access to more options with loan repayment.
I have a question about Public Service Loan Forgiveness. I started with 160k in student loans in 2012. After graduation, I enrolled in a standard 25 year repayment plan but paid extra each month to get to an amount that I thought would repay the loan 10 years. From 2013 until January of 2016 I paid $1,750 per month. The entire time I was working in the Public Service field. Finally, in 2016, I gave up on leaving the public sector and decided to enroll in the PSLF plan and stick it out in the public sector for the remaining 7 years to get the loan paid off. However, for the previous payments to qualify they would have had to have been $1,766. Because my calculations were off, my payments were $16 short each month; and I didn’t get credit for the 3 years of payments. Is there any way to appeal this decision?
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.

I have been working for a non profit public university for the past 4 years and loyally paying on my loans…under a graduated repayment plan 🙁 I thought my payments qualified! Nobody ever told me a graduated repayment plan would disqualify me from loan forgiveness! I feel like I’ve lost 4 years that I desperately needed toward paying these off. What do I do??? Is there any way to make those 4 years count? The plans that do qualify were only $30 a month more than what I’ve been paying, it seems so silly…and now I’m so discouraged…
Federal student loans offer benefits that many other loans don't. One benefit is the ability to qualify for loan forgiveness—under special circumstances, the federal government may forgive part, or all, of your federal student loans. This means you're no longer obligated to make your loan payments. Another benefit is there may be some situations where you may qualify to have your loans cancelled or discharged.
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.
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.
I have 2 student loans from Great Lakes higher education one for aprox $9,000 and one for Aprox $19,000 it looks as if they defaulted not my credit report in 2013 however the loans were taking out between 2002-2006 I believe. I am now unemployed I have been for 6 years. I have filed for social security disability. Does this change anything about repayment or if I’m approved for disability will that change anything for repayment? I really hope you have some info on this no one seems to know. Thank you.
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)?
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!
Good day! My husband and I are currently in a dental residency program that we’ll finish summer of 2018. At the end, we’ll both be in debt of around $400k together. DO you suggest for us to start paying it off a little as we can? Does it make sense to consolidate/refinance now? Our loans are all direct unsubsidized federal loans which have interest rates from 6- 7.5%.

I Would LOVE for somebody to help me figure out my student loans….. I have a company garnishing my wages from one company to another company I’m paying money too…. and then then I got another letter from a lawyer saying I owe more money..WHAT is going on? ???? I started out with maybe 35 To 40 thousand debt which is up to 70or 80thousand now…. and I don’t know what’s going on and I need somebody to help me…


I went through a state-funded program for vocational rehabilitation. The state’s classified me with a disability but I chose to get rehabilitated rather than go on SSI. Here’s the two part question. Based on this info would I still qualify as disabled even though I don’t collect Ssi ? And second I noticed that the school that the state put me through charged me $27,000 for that six months of training I can’t seem to get proof that I wasn’t supposed to be Billed. I think there’s fraud here but I can’t seem to prove it is there anything I can do in either case?
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!
I have been on the IBR plan, and now have payments I can’t make — due to the fact that I have two special needs children whose monthly expenses exceed $800 (one is Type 1 diabetic and one is on ABA for autism.) According to my loan servicer, the only option at this point is to consolidate. This is really frustrating. I have tried my best to do what is needed, but now I am getting to the point where even though my husband and I are both making decent money, we are having to choose between food and paying student loans, since not getting insulin is off the table obviously. We have exhausted the limits for putting off payments. I am simply hoping to keep everything together at this point, but my frustration and stress level about it is just through the roof. Ugh. I owe, about 90K, my husband about 10K. We both have master’s degrees and work in the public sector (me at a public school district, him at a state university.) We also live in the SF Bay Area, which is expensive — but we would be getting paid a fraction of what we make now with pathetic health benefits (to say nothing of hospital/dr access) if we were to move.
Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan and Education Refinance Loan for Parents Eligibility: For the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan and Education Refinance Loan for Parents, primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not reached the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required and may not be eligible for co-signer release. For the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan, applicants may not be currently enrolled in school and applicants with an Associate’s degree, or with no degree, must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced.  Citizens Bank observes the right to modify or discontinue these benefits at any time. Both Education Refinance Loans and Education Refinance Loan for Parents are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned or affordability, as applicable. The minimum student loan refinance amount is $10,000. Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. Resources are available to help the borrower make a decision, including a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits, at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private.
I was enrolled in Army ROTC from 2007-2011. I had a false statement filed against me and was given one of two options. Serve 4 years active duty starting out as an E-1, or fight it with a formal board. I fought it and just recently have exhausted all my appeals. Several cadre members had even made statements pertaining to how the process was stacked against me from the beginning. I involved a state Senator and Congresswoman who both opened congressional inquiries. Still to no avail.
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?
Yes i graduated college in 2010 and joined the navy in Fall of 2012 while I was at MEPS i was not aware of the Program the navy offered for Student Loan Forgiveness.. Now I am currently still in , and I have been doing some research about the Navy program for Student Loan Forgiveness and it is only offered for people who are about to join the navy. I am wondering are there any programs for Active Military Personnel like my self can qualify for???
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.

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.
The money I was making wasn’t very much and I put the student loans under an IBR with a payment of $0 per month. My original loans were all subsidized but because I consolidated them around 1993 (there was some law that came into effect right afterward to protect borrowers who had subsidized loans) they still accrue interest. My current balance is over $53,000.
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.
Hello I saw this article and found it confusing. I am in $35-40k in debt and my loans are in good standing because I’ve deferred them but of course the interest is what had escalated. I just started working and muy income is not very high at al and am a single mother of 3. What do you suggest I do? I’m not quite sure which plan would work. Also if you get on one of these plans do they pull/take your income tax every year?
I have 2 student loans from Great Lakes higher education one for aprox $9,000 and one for Aprox $19,000 it looks as if they defaulted not my credit report in 2013 however the loans were taking out between 2002-2006 I believe. I am now unemployed I have been for 6 years. I have filed for social security disability. Does this change anything about repayment or if I’m approved for disability will that change anything for repayment? I really hope you have some info on this no one seems to know. Thank you.
Hello I was hoping that you can offer some advise. I have over 6 student loans from Great Lakes higher education which are both secured and unsecured totaling around 60K. I’m currently in school finishing a masters degree and really want to try to take care of this but I’m currently working off of one income with my child and things are really tight to pay the $600 being stated for repayment. I’m in the banking industry and my job is not offering any assistance in paying this back and I only make around $40K. Any advise is greatly appreciated, thank you for your time.
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.
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?
Advice please! I have $260,000 in undergraduate and graduate school loans which continues to grow due to interest. I am currently under IBR since 2011 and pay 15% of my AGI which is $100,000. I understand after 25 years any amount will be forgiven but will be taxed as income. So in 21 years after my loans continue to increase due to interest I will have approximately $450,000-$500,000 in loans forgiven. If they tax that as income that means I’ll be taxed roughly 40% of $550,000-$600,000 which is $220,00. Then I’ll have to get on a repayment to pay those taxes. It will be a never ending task to pay off my school loans unless I hit the lottery. Any advice please?
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?

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.
If you have Federal loans, an income-based repayment plan can really help make your loans affordable. But yes, it does take a long time to pay them off. The other option is to work/earn more. $14,000 really isn’t much student loan debt (even though it might feel like it). You could pay that off in about 5 years if you can find an extra $200 per month to pay towards it.
Im on SSDI and had my dr fill out paperwork for them to do the forgiveness. My dr. filled out that paperwork 5 times. starting in 2008. They wrote this off about 2 years ago my mom told me I remember you calling and telling me they finally did it. Now they are telling me that only 2 are discharged and 2 are still in 3 year period. Ive been in that 3 year period for ever then. Im not exactly sure what more to do but if they continue this and I start having problems with my heart thats going to be an issue for me. any advise Ive been on disability now for almost 8 years. when this started I had only been on it for 1 year
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Military student loan forgiveness and assistance. Military personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard may qualify for their own loan forgiveness programs. In the National Guard, for example, qualifying soldiers and officers could receive up to $50,000 to pay off federal student loans through the Student Loan Repayment Program.
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