There is no application fee to consolidate your federal education loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. You may be contacted by private companies that offer to help you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, for a fee. These companies have no affiliation with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or ED’s consolidation loan servicers. There’s no need to pay anyone for assistance in getting a Direct Consolidation Loan. The application process is easy and free.

I received my master’s degree in 1998 and have been paying towards my federal loans since (aside from a short period of forebearance). I entered the IBR plan about two years ago. In terms of the loan forgiveness component, do my seventeen years of payments prior to entering IBR count towards the 25-year forgiveness mark, or did that 25-year period only commence with my entrance in the IBR program itself (in which case I would conceivably be paying off my loan over 42 years)?


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

This student loan forgiveness program cancels a percentage of a borrower’s Federal Perkins Loan if they work full-time in an eligible field. You will have a portion of your loans forgiven for each year of service. The specific cancellation terms depend on your line of work, but this program awards up to 100% forgiveness. For the majority of Perkins Loan cancellations, the cancellation terms are as follows:
Refinancing student loans makes sense for many people if they are eligible. For starters, student loan consolidation (which is included in the student loan refinancing process) simplifies the management of your monthly payments. Refinancing allows you to consolidate both your federal and private loans, select a repayment term that makes sense for you, and often lower your interest rate. Here at Earnest, the entire application process is online, and you could have your new low interest rate loan in less than a week.
I am not in default. My loans are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. I have a recent print out of my credit report and other than naming Nelnet as my holder and labeled as a subsidized/unsubsidized loan I don’t know what “kind” they are. From my recollection, and from what I can tell on my report, they are federal loans. My primary loans were for $21,000 and $23,000. My current balance is about $64,000 from my last online statement from Nelnet. I did notice that my interest is now at 3.5%. That was a happy surprise, however, I still owe that extra 50% of what I borrowed. Additionally, Nelnet recently decided on their own to put me on a forbearance. I never asked for that! I called and was told they could not stop the forbearance and I could simply continue to pay. I was stunned to say the least.
Refinancing student loans makes sense for many people if they are eligible. For starters, student loan consolidation (which is included in the student loan refinancing process) simplifies the management of your monthly payments. Refinancing allows you to consolidate both your federal and private loans, select a repayment term that makes sense for you, and often lower your interest rate. Here at Earnest, the entire application process is online, and you could have your new low interest rate loan in less than a week. Borrowers who refinance federal student loans should be aware of the repayment options that they are giving up. For example, Earnest does not offer income-based repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness. It’s possible to consolidate federal student loans (Federal Perkins, Direct subsidized, Direct unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans) with a Direct Consolidation Loan from the Department of Education, but this will not allow you to lower your interest rate and private student loans are not eligible.
I’m grateful I found this page via Pinterest but I’m also angry I didn’t know it before. I’ve been deferring my $40000 consolidation loans for 8 years because I could never afford even the minimum payment. My current balance is now $63000. If I understand correctly, I could’ve been on IBR for 8 years now, probably with a payment of $0 since my income is usually right at poverty level?? I had checked into this before on Sallie Mae/Navient’s website, but it always said that the minimum payment is $208 for IBR (even with an income of $17k 2 person family)…I had no clue I had to go to a separate website (Studentloans.gov) to get a different answer. So frustrating that SM/Navient seems to NOT want people to know this information. I feel like I could’ve been 8 years closer to forgiveness.
I owed 160,000 on student’s loans; I qualified for the 10 years forgiveness plan. I have been paying since 2007. My income is not that high, so I have to get a second job in order to be able to make the payments for the student loans. Last year, I found out that none of the payments I made since 2009 qualified for the 10 years forgiveness program, because I was paying under the wrong plan and not the IBR plan, nobody told me that in order to qualified for the 10 year forgiveness program the condition was to be under the IBR payment. Although, the payments before were higher than what I’m paying now under the IBR plan.
I received my master’s degree in 1998 and have been paying towards my federal loans since (aside from a short period of forebearance). I entered the IBR plan about two years ago. In terms of the loan forgiveness component, do my seventeen years of payments prior to entering IBR count towards the 25-year forgiveness mark, or did that 25-year period only commence with my entrance in the IBR program itself (in which case I would conceivably be paying off my loan over 42 years)?
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.  All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank.  Member FDIC.  For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

I just wanted to comment on how dedicated you are to helping people Robert. You have provided prompt clear responses, with impressive information to every single person who commented on your article. I will share this with friends. I was fortunate to be in healthcare/non-profit & have a Perkins loan that was forgiven after 5 years. Thank you for your dedication to your field & being such an amazing person to give your time to answer all these questions. Kudos to you!
Here I am 24 years later, have been paying on my loan(s) for 10 years, every month, and I still owe $65,000. I DO NOT want something for nothing but I want to pay what I owe. I have tried negotiating a lower APR, currently paying 21%, but Nelnet says that isn’t possible, basically they refuse. I have also asked to negotiate a lower amount owed, again was told no.
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?
I have been forbearing my loans and on my credit report for the last couple of years shows that my payments have been made on time. As of the last couple of years I haven’t worked due to pregnancy and staying at home caring for our child. I’m not married, but my significant other does claim our children and myself. If I qualify for the $0 repayment plan, will he be responsible for the remaining balance at the end of the loan terms? Since he claims me on his taxes, is it possible for them to go after him?
Hi. Ten years ago my husband attended a for profit college that will officially be closing its doors in September of this year due to false recruitment practices. He worked in the field for 10 yrs but two years ago he could no longer take the pay or the hours and changed fields. His loans were all federal loans. Does he qualify for loan forgiveness?
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 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.
My husband and I have only been married for 4 years. He is 49 and I am 42. He has 4 kids but 2 only in high school, one in college, and one just went through Marine boot camp training for the Nat. Reserves. He is a CRNA making 135K paying $1500 in child support (joint custody). I am a teacher (7th full year), with 2 children receive zero child support (joint custody). He has $225K loan debt and I have $125K loan debt. The last two years we filed separately and on the IBR program. This helped him because his was originally a Graduated plan. At this time he pays $600 on one loan and $200 on another loan(I believe it is the private loan). I pay $0 now based on this plan.
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 studentaid.ed.gov 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.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.
Fixed rate options consist of a range from 3.75% per year to 5.80% per year for a 5-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term, 4.55% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term, 4.85% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.30% per year to 7.27% 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.
State-sponsored repayment assistance programs. Licensed teachers, nurses, doctors and lawyers in certain states may be able to take advantage of programs to assist with repaying debt. For example, the Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program will pay up to $3,000 per year for a maximum of four years on undergraduate educational loans to teachers with a specific teaching license for each year of teaching full time in a particular geographical or subject area. Contact your state’s higher education department to find out if you qualify for a program.
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