Hi I was 2 months away from being out of default on my student loans when I decided to claim bankruptcy 5 years ago. (We had fraud on accounts we counldnt get past.) I kept the same payment thinking it would complete it and switch over. Well it didn’t. So they have kept my student loans in default the whole time for 5 years on my credit report although we made payments, it all went to interest and fees. The fees in 5 years, and I have made payments every month, are $17,000! So now I owe $72K. When I graduated in 2000 I owed $38K. I guess what I want to know is can a company charge these fees in a federal student loan legally, because that doesn’t seem right when payments were being made. Because even in 25 years and I can write it off it’s more of a tax liability for me.
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less.  A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.
Forgiven loans may be taxable. Generally, forgiven, canceled or discharged student debt is taxed as income unless you were required to work for a certain type of employer or in a certain profession to qualify for the forgiveness. For instance, loans discharged through Public Service Loan Forgiveness are not taxable, but debt forgiven through income-driven repayment plans is taxable. Loans discharged upon a borrower’s death or permanent disability were previously taxed as income, but the latest tax code changed that. Loans discharged for this reason after Dec. 31, 2017, are not taxable.
Second, there are options. IBR is the best one. Yes, they’ll use your joint income today, but your payment will be 15% of your discretionary income (which is a formula) and it could be as low as $0 if your income is low enough. Also, you can file your taxes married filing separately. In this case, your husband will pay more in taxes, but you could then qualify for extremely low or $0 per month payments under IBR – so you might save more money in the long term.

In short, refinancing student loans generally does not hurt your credit. When getting your initial rate estimate, all that’s required is a ’soft credit inquiry,’ which doesn’t affect your credit score at all. Once you determine which lender has the best offer (Earnest, we hope), you’ll complete a full application. This application does require a ‘hard credit inquiry,’ which can have a minor credit impact (typically a few points).
I’ve read as many of the above comments as I could in order to avoid a repeat question, but couldn’t find any that directly addressed my situation. I’m scared to contact Direct Loans (all of my considerable undergrad and grad student loans are Federal loans), because I’ve been in default for so long. Just before I completed my Ph.D., two things happened. One: I became a mother with very bad post-partum depression, and Two: I had a nervous breakdown because my graduate advisor stole my work and sabotaged my ethnographic field study due to sheer incompetence. I didn’t fight any of it (see above references to total physical and emotional breakdowns), but instead focused on keeping myself and my children alive and in gradually improving health. It really was a survival situation. My husband has been our sole provider since I left graduate school (ABD), and I have not been employed outside the home since then. I have, however, homeschooled both of our children diligently and well, as well as run a small organic farm on one income. His income is barely enough for us to do this. It is certainly not enough for us to pay 15% of our income to loans, and so I am also exploring ways to use my education for income so that I can pay off loans. Like…write a bestseller. Yeah. (It’s actually not a total pipe dream. I do have one 600 page novel nearly finished, and it’s pretty damned good.) So my question is this: since none of my debt was incurred while married, and since I have not been employed since 2003, and since I DO very much want to repay my debt, but it pretty much seems completely hopeless, what can I do? What’s the best way to go forward here?
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.
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?
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. 

Could you clarify the difference between the 10 year and 25 year loan forgiveness? I’m interested only in the 10 year as I may not be able to work for 25 years being in my mid forties. My loan amount is $40K, I expect to earn gross $65-70K per year, I am married but separated, and my husband’s income is very variable but on the low side (gross $45K/year) and he files business income as he works from home part time. Will the PSLF allow me to work for 10 years and forgive my loan and must I file married separately or jointly. I just graduated and am about to end my grace period so my monthly payment will be due soon. I will also be starting work in the next month.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans.  Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.
I owe $62,000 in student loans that I consolidated with Fed Loan Servicing. I am currently paying them back and figure I will be paying on them forever. Some of this amount is due to a couple small forbearances. Over half of the amount that I owe is interest. That is the part that hurts. The amount of interest owed. I gladly will pay back the principal amount owed, but the interest is ridiculous and right now my entire payment goes to interest only. Is there any plan that forgives some of the interest owed? Or that would offer a better interest rate? My current rate is 7.25%. Thank you

Obama student loan forgiveness. There’s no such thing as “Obama student loan forgiveness.” However, some student “debt relief” companies use it as a catch-all term for free federal programs — which they charge to enroll borrowers in. If you encounter a company offering “Obama student loan forgiveness,” consider it a red flag. Enrolling in federal programs like income-based repayment and federal student loan consolidation is free to do on your own through the Department of Education.
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