However, even if your payments are $0 per month, they WILL count toward your required 120 or 240 monthly payments to receive forgiveness. It sounds like you are probably going to have to make the entire 220 monthly payments, because I don’t think you could be qualifying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program while you’re not working, but if you were injured on the job while working at a qualifying position… maybe?
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).
Sadly, you’re not missing anything except you could have been more aggressive with certifying your income on an IBR program earlier. IBR will end after 25 years from when you started making payments under IBR as long as you never defaulted on the loan during that time (even with the forbearance). Have you called your lender to see when your 25 years is up? It could be 2018 based on a 1993 loan consolidation and being on IBR the entire time. However, if you didn’t start IBR until 2010 (it was hard to follow your timeline), then it will be over in 2035.

On the one hand, I can see that I have agreed to work in public service for at least 10 years, making no less than 120 qualifying payments, and my loan payments are adjusted according to my income. So, I can see that this might be seen as a service obligation. On the other hand, I am not limited by FedLoan to work in a specific geographic location (major metropolitan area or rural area), for a specific company (state government, non-profit mental health agency, etc.), or for a specific time frame.

For example, if you have both Direct Loans and other types of federal student loans, and you have been making payments toward PSLF on your Direct Loans, you should not consolidate your Direct Loans along with your other loans. Similarly, if you have Federal Perkins Loans and you are employed in an occupation that would qualify you for Perkins Loan cancellation benefits, you should not include your Perkins Loans when you consolidate. Leaving out your Direct Loans or Perkins Loans will preserve the benefits on those loans.
I have significant amount of loans. I applied for a repayment plan and was told I did not qualify for Paye because I had loans before 2007 so I was out on REPaye. My partner and I are now thinking of getting married (so I can get his medical insurance benefits) but I just read that under REPaye they always look at your joint income even if you’re married filing separate. Can I change my payment plan to IBR so only my AGI would be taken into consideration? I’ve only made 6 qualifying thus far. Also, would IBR increase or decrease my current payment? I’m hoping the repayment plans are not permanent. We are also speaking to our tax person to see what specific pros/cons us potentially getting married will have on our financial situation. I know they are several cons so we are weighing out our options of getting married now or until I’m down with PSLF. -Thank you
She was told by the Dept of Ed that to find out what a “true” monthly payment would be she would need to drop out of the program she’s in, enroll in a “standard” program, get a payment plan, use a deferment to avoid making a payment, then re-enroll in the previous plan……. A typical gov’t agency approach to a situation, but completely idiotic…. and the needless killing of at least 3 trees in worhtless paperwork.
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.

If you are certifying and still have some time left to hit 120 payments – your loans will transfer to Fedloan Servicing (Federal Student Aid is simply a program name, not a loan servicer). FedLoan handles all PSLF requests for the Department of Education. Nothing with your loans change (payment, amount, etc), simply who you make payment to changes.
I did the same thing. Paid a company to get my student loans into a rehab program. 7 months and almost $500 later, I am still in the same situation and nothing is being done. Its always one excuse after another. Please don’t pay someone to do what you can do for free youself. I just wish there was some way to get back that lost time and money. Good luck!
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.

Great information, but I have a question. I had to consolidate my loans since they were not with a federal loan servicer. I am starting to repay my loans, ($200K). I have been working the last 17 years for local governments in my area. Is it true I have to be making payments at the same time I am working for the loan governments or it does not count for loan forgiveness under Public Service Forgiveness program? I am nearing retirement and this could be a problem.
My 25 year old daughter’s student loan from 2011 is in collections. The original loan amount was approximately $7,800.00 and the balance due now is ~ $12,000.00. She is a single mom of one child and earned $13,000.00 last year. They took her 2016 tax refund of $5,000.00 to put towards her loan balance. When she called, they indicated they would accept $5,260.00 to settle and close the loan or she could try to have the loan returned to the Dept. of Education and then determine the best repayment options.
Refinancing my student loans through Laurel Road is the best thing that could have happened for my personal finances. The online application was very straightforward and I was approved within a week of applying. The customer service has been nothing but professional, promptly answering any questions I have about my account. Throughout the lifetime of my loan I will save over $20,000!
Yes, you should rehabilitate your loans and get on an income-based repayment plan again. When on the plan, you might consider filing your taxes married filing separately. You need to talk to a tax professional and see if it makes sense, but if you do, they will only count your income for your loans (which is $0). That will make your payments $0. However, your husband will pay much more in taxes as a result, so it might not be worth it – you have to do the math. Here’s an article about that: IBR and Married Filing Separately.
Refinancing federal student loans means you turn them private. As a result, you lose access to federal programs, such as income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Some private lenders offer help if you run into financial hardship, but this varies by lender. If you’re relying on federal protections, then you should not refinance your federal student loans. But if you’re comfortable sacrificing these programs, refinancing could be a smart strategy for paying off your loans.
I did the same thing. Paid a company to get my student loans into a rehab program. 7 months and almost $500 later, I am still in the same situation and nothing is being done. Its always one excuse after another. Please don’t pay someone to do what you can do for free youself. I just wish there was some way to get back that lost time and money. Good luck!
I make about 35k (my wife also makes about 38k — my wife and I file married but separate taxes — we have 3 kids.) I feel lost. I don’t know how I got so deep or how this got so out of control. Any help is appreciated. Do you think I qualify for these repayment programs? Which would be best for such an old defaulted loan? Is there a place (other than the collection agency) that can help guide me? Again I sincerely appreciate your article and advice.
The quoted Annual Percentage Rate (APR) with discount includes a customer interest rate discount of 0.25% for having a prior student loan with Wells Fargo or a qualified Wells Fargo consumer checking account and requires a 5-year term. APRs may vary based on terms selected. Repayment term options may include 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years based on credit qualifications. (A 20-year repayment term is available when the consolidation loan amount is $50,000 or more). Variable interest rates are based on an Index, plus a margin. The Index is equal to the Prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal. The APR for a variable rate loan may increase during the life of the loan if the index increases. This may result in higher monthly payments. Rates are current as of 10/01/2019 and subject to change without notice. Wells Fargo reserves the right to change rates, terms, and fees at any time. Your actual APR will depend upon your credit transaction, credit history, and loan term selected and will be determined when a credit decision is made. For questions, please contact us at 1-877-315-7723.
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.

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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