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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 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?

Remember that when you’re refinancing, you can pick exactly which loans you want to refinance. You’re free to refinance only your private student loans and continue paying off the federal loans like normal. You may find that option gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to save money on your private loans while retaining the perks of your federal loans.
Should she be eligable for a possible $0 monthly payment with no income even though we file jointly, or does the fact that we are married mean my income has to contribute to her ability to pay? This is where it has been unclear to me. Can she report her income on the IBR paperwork as $0 even though she’s filed on my tax return as joint? If that is the case completely agree that with no income she should qualify for a $0 payment but I was under the impression that I had to use our tax return AGI for both our IBR forms.
Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply. Borrowers whose loans were funded prior to reaching the age of majority may not be eligible for co-signer release. Note: co-signer release is not available on the Student Loan for Parents or Education Refinance Loan for Parents.
Hi, Thank you for compiling all of this valuable info into one place. Your website has answered a lot of my questions. I am 90 days past due & was advised to apply for an IBR by my borrower. My question is I should be approved for an $0 payment due to being unemployed. Should I file taxes at all, with my husband as a dependent or how can we handle the tax aspect so we can keep our heads above water?

I’ve been making about $200 payments on my combined 2 private loans and $0 payments on my Direct/Stafford loans under the Income Driven Repayment plan for about 5 years now. Every year I have to send my information to renew the plan before I’m charged $500+ a month. So I’m a bit confused about how after the payment plan ends the loan will be forgiven. Am I missing some fine print somewhere?
Savings calculations are based on refinancing $121,825 in student loans at an existing loan servicer’s interest rate of 7.5% fixed APR with 10 years, 6 months remaining on the loan term. The other lender’s savings and APR (light green line) represent what would happen if those loans were refinanced at the other lender’s best fixed APRs. The Earnest savings and APR (white line) represent refinancing those loans at Earnest’s best fixed APRs.

Fixed rates from 3.460% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.140% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.140% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.04588% plus 0.100% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

Yes I’m in the process of filing an application for loan forgiveness for a parent plus loan I’ve got all the info and the original denial letter from sallie Mae that said I wasn’t able to get this loan then was given one how in the hell does this happen. My son attended that ITT Tech school back in 2010. Do you think I will get some forgiveness for the institute falsely misrepresented my credit history?


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
You can refinance both your federal student loans and your private student loans through a private lender, such as a bank or one of the lenders offered by LendingTree. Refinancing your loans will combine all of them into one loan with one monthly payment. Your interest rate will be based off of your credit score, so if it’s higher than when you first applied, you should score an incredibly low rate.
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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.

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.

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.

Military personnel continue to have access to some of the best Federal student loan forgiveness benefits, with options for using programs like the incredible Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (which they qualify for as Military Personnel, or Government Employees), or the amazing College Loan Repayment Programs, which offer up to $65,000 in forgiveness to eligible service members.

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!


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?
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).
Fixed rates from 3.460% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.140% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.140% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.04588% plus 0.100% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
Forgiveness isn’t an option for defaulted loans. You’ll need to use consolidation or rehabilitation to get defaulted federal student loans in good standing before they’re eligible for forgiveness programs. If your loans won’t qualify for forgiveness, student loan settlement or bankruptcy may reduce your debt in severe cases. Defaulted federal loans are eligible for discharge programs.
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