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.

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.


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?
I am in the same situation as Stephanie, I have made 5 years of consistent payments on a graduated repayment plan. I was counting on PSLF after 10 years, but was told by my FedLoan that none of my graduated payments would count because it is not a “qualifying repayment plan”. I did a lot of research when I first started paying my loans to ensure that I would qualify, and I could have sworn that graduated was listed as a qualifying repayment plan. Everywhere I read now, it says that it is not a qualifying plan. I did fill out a certification form recently, but they said it would take 90 days to process. Please help!
Tim, thanks for doing what you do here. Any word on changes to the PSLF program, in lieu of the proposed $57K cap? I’m in the IBR program, working for a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and have been making qualifying payments for approximately six years – and I’m terrified that changes to the PSLF program will affect me. All my loans are federal. Also, I’ve been told by my loan servicer in the past that I don’t do anything “now” for PSLF, that I wait until closer to the end of the 10 years. Any insight into that?
Citizens Bank, one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, provides an integrated experience that includes mobile, online banking and lending solutions, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 branches. Citizens Bank is a leader in Student Loan solutions, offering lending solutions for parents, students and former students. The Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan is a leading solution helping graduates and former students to better manage their student debt. Citizens Bank helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions.
Earnest: 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.
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!!
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/questions https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher https://www.disabilitydischarge.com/ https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/disability-discharge https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/death https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/perkins https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans
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 disabilitydischarge.com.
Moving your loans to a private lender or grouping your government debt with a new federal loan servicer could be the turning point of your repayment. If you’re unsure which route to take, consider scenarios when refinancing makes sense or whether consolidation would be wise in your case. In the end, the best decision is the one that’s best for you.
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…
On IBR, your loan balance is forgiven after your repayment term (20 or 25 years). The best thing to do is make the payment you can afford. If you’re on IBR, and your payment is $0, you likely don’t have much income. If you can make extra payments, great – but don’t compromise other financial goals/issues to make extra payments (i.e. don’t get behind on car payments, go into credit card debt, etc.).
Thank you so much for the article and all your advice given. I’ve worked in public service for 6 years, but quit my job 2 years ago and am now unemployed. I’ve been paying my student loan for over 10 years now and was curious if I could take advantage of the public service program forgiveness even though I’m not currently employed. Thank you in advance!
I’m concerned about changes in loan information and the status of civil service enrollment. It appears purported loan was sold to Navient but the balances don’t match and there is no original balance, lender or name of school. When I went to get job training I was denied because the government had no record of my civil service registration from the 80’s. In order to get student loans this was necessary. I paid off loans from my BA but loans from private technical college have the issues. Can I have Navient verify the debt and address civil service and training issues?

I had to file to drop my classes because I was in bed rest for four months. I was told that since it was a medical emergency that I wouldn’t be expected to pay back any student aid that I received and I could continue once I was off bed rest. When I tried to go back I was told that I had to pay off my loan first. So I did. Then I was told that another loan had been taken out in my name. The address that they claimed the check was delivered to has never been my address, nor have I ever lived there. It was the address of an estranged sibling that I have had no contact with. I explained this, but I was told that I still have to pay the loan or my transcripts would be held hostage so that I could never go back to college anywhere. The advisor that they appointed me when I first enrolled had been fired, so I found a new one who worked for the state. He tried to help me sort things out. On one conference call they told him that a loan had been sent to the fore mentioned address, on another they claimed that I had outstanding fines from aid money that I needed to repay. We called the office that handles all student aid info and they said that I do not owe them money and if I did then it would be between me and the state, not the school. So we called them again and again they claimed that I had taken out a second loan. The new advisor said he’d never seen anything like it and he said that I still qualify for a full scholarship if I can get my transcripts released. I don’t have the money to pay the loan back twice. It took me years to pay it back the first time. Any ideas? I’ve tried just about everything, including reporting it on the FBI’s identity theft site.
Your best option would be to find a way to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers total forgiveness after just TEN years of payments (instead of the typical 20). To qualify for PSLF, you’ll need to work for the Government, a Non-Profit, or some other position that is included on the eligibility guidelines. See my page on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (linked above) for a breakdown of the details.
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!

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?

I have been very impressed with my application process with LendKey! Their customer service team is prompt in responding to any inquiries via email and very helpful on the phone! The application process was easy to follow and very user friendly! With LendKey's help, I'll be saving nearly $400 per month on my student loans! I'm absolutely thrilled and feel like I can breathe again knowing how much this is going to help me financially and the ability to pay my loans off faster. Thank you LendKey!
To jump off her question a little – I’m a former teacher turned SAHM homeschooling our three children. When applying annually for the REPAYE program, do I have to show that I’ve been searching for employment? Or is it enough to apply jointly with my husband and send in documentation for his income? I do not plan to job search or go back to work anytime soon as I intend to continue homeschooling. I’m just wondering how that choice will affect our eligibility for programs such as REPAYe. (My husband and I both have eligible federal student loans).
Variable rate options consist of a range from 2.68% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.75% per year to 6.90% 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 0.54% to 4.16% for the 5-year term loan, 1.86% to 4.21% for the 7-year term loan, 2.11% to 4.26% for the 10-year term loan, 2.36% to 4.51% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.61% to 4.76% 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 2.68% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term would be from $178.27 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.
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.

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.
I am planning on consolidating my parent plus loans into a direct loan and using PSLF to pay since my income is $45,000 and i work for the state government. Under a possible change to student loan repayment, if i start the ICR plan, and the budget takes it away, am i grandfathered into that plan? Since that is the only one that accepts PLUS consolidation loans i am worried about making 2 or 3 years payments towards PSLF and then having it all thrown away when they change the repayment plans and i dont qualify for the new ones because its a PLUS consolidation loan.
I currently have done 1 year in the Army Reserve after doing 5 years in the Air National Guard. I haven’t received a bonus from the Army because I was not eligible for any. Is there a program like the PSLF for people in the Guard/Reserve since we’re technically federal/DoD employees?? I was in school to be a pilot which ran me up to about $90,000 total…I enlisted to the Air National Guard where they did blood work to find out I have a Sickle Cell Trait and cannot fly unpressurized aircraft(hence cannot go through flight training). I pretty much wasted my time with school. I cannot file bankruptcy either or I’ll be discharged from the Army Reserve. Please Help!!!!

Thank you for such a quick reply. We are in this together:) The payment they said that we would owe, using his income alone, would be $368.00 each month. That is not possible in any way, at this time. After the house payment, vehicle payment and insurance, along with utilities, food, gas, therapy for my daughter, it’s just not. I also was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm earlier in the year and our deductible for that was $4,000……another payment. I should have said that I drive my daughter to college and we live 25 miles from college and from her therapy appointments…so lots of gas. I am thinking the best thing would be to file separately. If I get any sort of work at home job…which I am trying to do, it would just make that payment go up! So, now we are going to have to tighten our belts because we may/may not get a refund next year.


I graduated back in 1991. In 92 or 93 I consolidated about $23,000 dollars in student debt with Sallie Mae. Over the next several years I had to do Forbearance a few times but by 2008 I had made about $51,000 in payments and had a balance of around $27,000. The economy crashed and the non-profit I worked for had to drop my income – a lot. We had to short-sell our house. I picked up some side work and eventually left the non-profit (501c3) in 2010. I took another job and essentially started over from a career standpoint.


In the year of 1999-2003 i went to school for my A.S.degree in Nursing, after finishing the pre-requisites you have to apply for the program, i applied and i was not accepted. I then realized that i was stuck with student loans. In 2011 i was accepted into another University and finally got in the Nursing Program. In the 3rd semester of being in the program i was released because of Academic issues. I had 3 family deaths in one year and broke my finger within the same time frame. The school believes that if you get more than 2 C’s you are automatically released from the program. I am now further in debt with student loans and of course no degree. I am truly devastated and really need some help, what do i need to do, anyone please.
I am happy that I found your site and thank you for all of the information that you have provided. So, I went to Heald College in Stockton, CA, and graduated with my Associates Degree in Accounting, well at least I thought I did. I walked the stage and never received my diploma in the mail when they said they were. I requested it many time and never got anywhere. I started working at restaurants because I could not find work in Stockton, CA, and Heald College was not a big help when they said they would have job placements. I then moved to Maryland on the East Coast and went back to school. While I was going to school I landed a job at a Law Office as a paralegal. My boss closed down her law practice and I went to apply for schools in the area. The school that I applied to asked me for a copy of my transcript from Heald College. I requested it from a third party because as you already know it closed down. When I received my transcript in the mail, I discovered that I only had 8 credits. I called the third party and said that this is a mistake and that I graduated in 2008. She checked and said no, that is the correct transcript. I then applied for one of the programs to get it discharged and it was denied. I’ve tried calling the lawyers in California that worked on the case and never received a response back. If I go back to school I have to start all over again and still have this debt as well as the new student loans that I would have to take out. I hope you will have some pointers for me!
Hoping you can provide some assistance as I get extremely confused with all the different options. Currently have 2 Consolidated Loans thru Navient equaling ~11K. They were consolidated in 12/2002. Was paying on previously but that is last time consolidated. Paying since 1997. I know I have definitely paid the loan probably twice now and just can’t get ahead as a single mom.
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?
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!

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. 
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!
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.
Along with your credit score and annual income, some lenders also look at your savings and debt-to-income ratio. Finally, some lenders require proof of graduation, as they’ll only approve borrowers who have obtained their degree. If you left school before graduating, there are relatively few student loan refinance providers that will work with you.
FIXED APR 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 5.14% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term would be from $142.00 to $147.29. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.24% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term would be from $107.24 to $114.31. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.30% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term would be from $80.65 to $90.16. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.61% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term would be from $69.41 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 APR Variable rate options consist of a range from 2.50% 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 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% 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 3.49% per year to 6.31% per year for a 5-year term would be from $181.87 to $194.77. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.86% per year to 6.36% per year for a 7-year term would be from $140.68 to $147.82. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.91% per year to 6.41% per year for a 10-year term would be from $105.63 to $113.09. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.16% per year to 6.66% per year for a 15-year term would be from $79.92 to $87.99. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.41% per year to 6.91% per year for a 20-year term would be from $68.28 to $76.99. 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.
I’m a little confused. According to Navient, I qualify for an Income-Based Repayment Plan, Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan, or Graduated Repayment Plan (either 2, 3, 4, or maybe 5 years) for my Federal Loans only. I don’t quite understand how the loan forgiveness that you’ve mentioned works for the Income-Based Repayment plan and Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan. For example: If I do the IBR, my monthly payments will be $0. Of course, they can potentially increase since I have to give my AGI each year. Are you saying that my loan is automatically forgiven after 10 years or after my repayment term? Isn’t it better to be paying something on the principal rather than nothing?
Student loans can be expensive. Whether you refinance federal student loans, refinance private student loans or both, you will work with a private lender to refinance student loans. This is because the federal government does not refinance student loans. Lenders want to refinance student loans for borrowers who they believe will repay their student loans.
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.

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!


Quick question. I am an officer in the military, so to my understanding most replayment or forgiveness plans won’t work for me (not enlisted). Is there any plans for officers. I have a PhD and accured quite a bit of debt to attain it. Previously in deferrment because of additional army training, now I am required to pay it back but there is so much. Is there anything that I can do to have this forgiven or paid off by other means?
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.
I will start repaying my 75,000 loan (undergrad/grad). I’m a military spouse and currently don’t have a job. How I can tackle my student loan with only 1 income. I’m planning to join the Navy reserve, will that help forgive some of my loan? What is the best way to pay off my loan considering our current income situation? I can pay at least 200 a month but can I do that or the FedLoan servicing will set the amount that I need to pay? You’re feedback will be very helpful. Thank you.
I have $129,000 in debt from school loans. However, I had surgery and almost died during the time I was in school. I got behind on my dissertation and was kicked out of school. My forbearance time is coming up. I am scheduled under federal loans for the income driven repayment. Is there any recourse? My loans are consolidated and up to date right now.
I strongly encourage you to do the same. At $100k, you likely take home about $6k-7k per month (this is after taxes, insurance, 401k, etc). If you switched to the standard repayment plan for your loans, your monthly payment would be around $3k per month. You’d be debt free in 10 years. At the same time, that gives you $3k to $4k in discretionary income to live off of – still very reasonable. Maybe you need a roommate, maybe you need a used car? I don’t know the answers on your personal “sacrifices”, but I am telling you your student loan debt will catch up with you one way or another.
Additional student loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs): There may be other national or organizational student loan repayment assistance programs offered for public service professions. The National Institutes of Health, for example, offers up to $35,000 in debt assistance annually to health professionals who are appointed by the institutes to conduct research. The American Bar Association has a list of state LRAPs for lawyers.
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