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

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.

You — or your co-signer— typically need credit scores that are at least in the high 600s. Many refinance lenders seek borrowers with scores in the mid-700s. The better your (or your co-signer’s) credit, the better the rate you’ll likely qualify for. Additionally, you need enough income to comfortably cover your expenses, student loan payments and and other debts.

Through my current employer, many of the other therapists have applied for and have been awarded loan forgiveness monies through the National Health Services Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program. As I understand it, these two programs work differently and I am trying to figure out whether or not they can be used simultaneously. The NHSC information says that I can’t have another “service obligation” or that service obligation needs to be finished, terminated, completed by the application deadline.
Tim, I took out loans under similar circumstances. I know the loans were federal but I have no idea what the program was. I know they weren’t Perkins loans and I’m not sure if they were Stafford loans or not but I think they were. The loans were serviced by SalieMae from inception starting around 1994. I moved out of forbearance, consolidated the loan to a 25 year repayment plan and have made every payment since September of 2004. I’ve also been a public sector (state) employee since 2002. I’m having trouble determining if my loans qualify. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program stipulates that “only loans you received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program are eligible for PSLF.” I’ve never heard of the program and assume it was created concurrent or subsequent to the inception of this program in 2007. Does that mean I am only eligible if I took out the original loans, or consolidated my loans after a certain date?
Private student loan lenders want to ensure that you have sufficient income to repay your student loans. Lenders want proof that you have stable and recurring monthly income and cash flow. Examine your pay stubs and identify your after-tax monthly income. When you subtract your proposed monthly student loan payments, does a sufficient amount remain for other essential living expenses?
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.
After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.
I believe this is misleading, You mentioned having $50k forgiven at the end of an income-based repayment term, that the tax owed is cheaper than the loan + interest. But the $50K you would owe at that point *is* the remaining loan + interest. If your IBR amount was covering the interest and some of the principle you’d likely have paid a ton more interest than you would have if you stayed on a 10-year term, but if your payments did not cover the interest, then your loan balance would have been increasing over time. That $50k could have represented a $12k original loan… If you qualified to pay nothing — then with a 6.5% interest loan over 25 years you’d end-up paying tax on 5x the original balance… You’d likely be pushed into a much higher tax bracket. I believe this is a dangerous recommendation for you to make. If the tax law change, then great, but there’s no guarantee of that. Can you explain your logic in the light that unpaid interest in accruing in your loan balance?

The sooner you refinance, the more you could save. The longer you hold your loan at a higher rate, the more interest you are accruing—even if you are in a grace period. That being said, you must be employed or possess a job offer to be eligible to refinance with Earnest. The more your financial situation has improved since you took out the loans originally, the better your refinancing offer will be.
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.

If you’re planning on taking advantage of federal loan forgiveness programs, you may not want to refinance your federal loans. Refinancing your federal student loans will disqualify you from any forgiveness programs. However, if you are ineligible for loan forgiveness, a refinance is the best way to lower your payments. To help determine if refinancing is right for you use our student loan refinancing calculator below.
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.
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