I took out Federal Student Loans in 1986 totaling about $25,000. Repayment began in 1992. I consolidated Perkins and Stafford loans in 1995. I have made 188 payments totaling $55,800 of which only $12,800 has gone to principal the remaining has gone to interest. I feel this is ridiculously upside down for a federal student loan. My current balance is $38000. Is there anything I can do to have all or part of this forgiven? I also very small loan from 2011 at a lower interest rate. Would consolidating make any difference?
Im so happy I found your site. I need help. I owe $270,000 in student loans from medical school. $60,000 of it is from private loans. Both my subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans have been in repayment for 10 years. My balance has actually gone up approx. $25,000. Due to interest and two short term forebearances. I discovered IBR plan last year and qualified, but this year i will not qualify. Im stuck and feel like I will be paying this well beyond retirement years. Im 40 yrs old.
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.
Hi Robert, this is very helpful information you are posting here. My question is this. I am married with a single income (my income, spouse does not work). Both her and I have student loans. I have two that are in good standing – One federal loan that is currently on REPAYE, and another small private ALPLN type loan. My wife, has two loans of her own both federal which are sizeable. We’ve had those in and out of deferement/forebareance on and off for 3-4 years now based on her unemployment and time is up. We file married/joint. I’d like to get everything under control and get her loans on IBR with mine – my questions are do I have an option to do a consolidation and consolidate hers and mine together? Would it beneficial to file separate returns and keep her in deferment/forebarance because of the unemployment and/or lack of income? My income is not substantial and as it is we struggle to sustain our family but I’d be willing to pay all of the loans if the total payment were affordable.

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).
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?
I filed for divorce in October 2016, our divorce won’t be final for two months yet. Because I married a high wage earner I have been paying $632/mo. On IBR, before marriage my payment was $107/mo. Can I file married but separate? Would you know if I need my husbands permission? He of course wants the higher tax break to benefit his bottom line- this is a contentious divorce- he is difficult to negotiate with. However, I need to secure a lower payment, one that reflects my new income.
For example: if you elect to have the National Service Trust send $1,000 of your education award towards payment on a Direct Loan, and under your repayment plan you are expected to pay $100 each month, your education award payment would count as 10 payments towards PSLF, and you would not owe another payment for 10 months from the date the lump sum payment was applied.

The Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR) is one of the most common repayment plans borrowers switch to if they are having financial hardship.  If you have loans from before July 1, 2014, you payment will not be higher than 15% of your discretionary income.  On this plan, you will make payments for 25 years, and at that point, your loans will be forgiven.
I attended ITT Tech-Bessemer AL in fall of 2005. When my dad passed away I moved home to be close to my mother (I’m an only child) who’s disabled and I have been helping her pay her monthly expenses. Anyway long story short, I only attended 1 semester of college there and couldn’t afford the payments because I was a single unemployed parent and only made $8 an hour and raising 2 kids. At that time it was a SallieMae College Advantage Loan. Initially they literally refused to work with me on lowering my payments for a long time & they defaulted. Once they did, the company they sold my loan to an Recovery company who contacted me and I set up a payment plan with them monthly. Since 2010 I have been paying the money automatically, never missed a payment. However, it is still showing that I am delinquent/past due. The debt has gone from $8900 to almost $13,000 even with sending extra money from time to time. It shows the payments made monthly in my Navient account. But, doesn’t decrease my balance and doesn’t show where the payment actually comes from and is still showing as a charge off on my credit report. Is there anything that I can do at this point? Thank you in advance for any advice you could provide.
Hello Robert, so i have set up a income based repayment plan. The lowest payment for me to make is 600 a month and with my other debts and private student loans i can not afford this amount. I want to make payments but this is just way to much. They said this is based on income and that it is my only option. How can i pay a lesser amount with out being penalized? I am a school counselor.
Their seems to be no provision made to forgive student loans at the time of 9/11 and the years following when so many middle class families who were and still are, bearing the brunt of supporting the economy and cities by continuing to pay taxes even when the lower income are not required to. Most middle class families took student loans and lost everything after 9/11.
I was called this morning from a loan company that calls me everyday but today I decided to answer. They told me they were from Allied Navient and wanted to take my loans from 35,428.06 to 2394.08. Is this a scam? The first person that I talked to when I answered seemed like he was paid to just break through the wall that I put up! The second person had my info and when I seemed interested in her offer she got me to a manager! He got on the phone and immediately took the offer to 1597.00 to put me in good standing? I have resources (friend) available to help but I don’t want to put him in that situation! He also wouldn’t give me the money until I researched to find out if I was getting scammed as he had never heard of that kind of offer!
I went to Everest College for Court Reporting in 2007-2008. I did not graduate, but chose to leave after I slowly realizing I was in real danger of being scammed by the school. How the entire program operated just didn’t seem right, and I didn’t feel that I had been told the truth about the success rate upon graduation, or that my education with them was up to par. However, I had already racked up several federal loans because we were called into student aid every 3-4 weeks in-between classes to renew our loans in order to continue to even the next class that day! After about 10 months I knew I had to leave, but these loan amounts due from that time have persisted. The school was closed in 2015 or 2016 I believe, after I was long gone. Do I qualify for loan dismissal/forgiveness?
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.
In 1994, I started at ITT. I applied for CAD, I thought I was going to take classes for CAD. Then I was told I tested higher in Electronics and I wld make more money in that field. I was 22 at the time, just married and had a child. So, I went with it. I was lied to from the beginning. I was only in the school 3 months at best. I have had hardship most of my adult life. Stuggling to make ends meet. I originally had my loan through William D Ford Direct Loans. I belive my loan was only 2k to start. Now its at 18k. I kept putting on a deferment. I explained about my hardship. This is what was recommended. Now my loan is at Navient..They want me to pay on this for 25 yrs and then they will give me a loan forgiveness. I’ll probably be be dead by then. Is their any way I can get a forgiveness on this loan now?
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program – Nurses have always been able to take advantage of the PSLF program, and for good reason! It was created specifically to help encourage people to take up work in public service positions, and no job defines public service better than that of a Nurse. Any Nurse who holds a full-time, qualifying position will be able to have the entirety of their student loan balance forgiven after they’ve made 10 years worth (120) of monthly payments on their debt, no matter how much is left when that 120th payment is made!

First let me say thank you for this article and all the helpful advice. Originally I owed a little over 40k when I graduated back in 1998. I got some deferments and then I went into default. Govt takes my tax return and applies it to my loan repayment. Twice I tried to make arrangements to pay…first time I was told to “wait it out until I get a good offer to pay pennies on the dollar” the second time I was told that I needed to make a payment that I just couldn’t afford… I offered $100 a month until i had better cashflow and the guy laughed at me and told me that would be worthless.
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!

Many lenders offer student loan refinancing, from traditional banks, to credit unions to online lenders. Before choosing one, shop around and compare your offers. Several lenders make it easy to get an instant rate quote online with no impact on your credit score. By checking your rates with a variety of providers, you can find a refinanced student loan with the best possible terms.
Ran across your site and then this posting while searching. My loans are currently in an IBR plan but I would love to not have the $14,000+ looming over my head. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any option other than to remain in the IBR and update/reapply every Fall until I die! I do see that you state that it is forgiven after 25 years of payments for a loan taken before July 2014, however, I pay nothing since my income is zero. Prior to having no income I was working in the public service field working with low income children in early childhood education but not long enough to qualify for that type of forgiveness. I am currently a full time and unpaid caregiver for my disabled 5-year-old. We get no public assistance in regards to his care. Qualify based on income but we refuse to liquidate the savings account meant to be used to get us in to a home that will suit our son’s needs and safety better. So I guess my best bet is to keep things as they are with the IBR. Just wish I could be rid of it all-together!
Like other forms of debt, you can refinance a student loan (both private student loans and federal student loans are eligible for refinancing). With most lenders, you start with a rate estimate, which doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry. When comparing rates from different lenders, be sure to pay attention to additional key differences, such as fees, before making a final decision (Earnest has no fees, for what it’s worth). The next step is to submit an application, and provide any additional required verification, such as IDs or pay stubs. Once you’re approved, you sign a few documents and indicate the loans you’d like to refinance. Your new lender will pay off these old loans, and voila, you have a shiny new refinanced student loan.
I have about 325,000 consolidated student loan debt with the fed gov’t once graduated in 2009. I was under the IBR plan but loss of employment and medical bills caused me to go further into debt. I filed Bankruptcy but this did not cover the loans…I have a doctoral degree but have not been able to find anything in my field as a result to make the salary I was previously making. I am working 2 jobs to cover the BK payments plus my normal living expenses. I am wanting to ensure that I am doing everything possible to utilized the forgiveness option at the end of 20-25 years. Any thoughts or recommendations? Am I eligible for PAYE on the 2007??… I never thought I would be in this position and don’t want to be stressed. I have cut my lifestyle down to the bare minimum but it doesn’t seem like I can get ahead…
I have about 325,000 consolidated student loan debt with the fed gov’t once graduated in 2009. I was under the IBR plan but loss of employment and medical bills caused me to go further into debt. I filed Bankruptcy but this did not cover the loans…I have a doctoral degree but have not been able to find anything in my field as a result to make the salary I was previously making. I am working 2 jobs to cover the BK payments plus my normal living expenses. I am wanting to ensure that I am doing everything possible to utilized the forgiveness option at the end of 20-25 years. Any thoughts or recommendations? Am I eligible for PAYE on the 2007??… I never thought I would be in this position and don’t want to be stressed. I have cut my lifestyle down to the bare minimum but it doesn’t seem like I can get ahead…
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.19% effective August 10, 2019.
These programs should be looked down upon. We’re allowing adults to borrow, and then fail to deliver on their promise to repay. The burden of their failure to pay is carried by the taxpayer, generally those who repay their debts to society. Honest people are being punished by others poor education investments. If we keep incentivizing behavior like this, the entire society will suffer. I can’t blame those taking advantage of this system, it seems to be in their best interest in the short term. The problem lies with those who create the system, generally politicians who create social programs to buy voters.
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.