Hello I saw this article and found it confusing. I am in $35-40k in debt and my loans are in good standing because I’ve deferred them but of course the interest is what had escalated. I just started working and muy income is not very high at al and am a single mother of 3. What do you suggest I do? I’m not quite sure which plan would work. Also if you get on one of these plans do they pull/take your income tax every year?

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
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.
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)?
Refinancing has some big potential benefits, including the possibility of lowering your interest rate to save you money on accruing interest. Alternatively, it might reduce your payments to a more affordable level, if you’re willing to shell out more interest over time. A student loan refinancing calculator can calculate your potential savings (or cost).
I am conflicted bc after reading your articles I feel like it will still make more sense for me to switch plans (in order to pay 10% of income as opposed to 15% monthly and bc I have not paid much off my debt thus far in a few years). However, my family has advised me that I need to see real numbers to know how much I will owe when my loans are forgiven in 25 years when my taxes are due. In my head adding an extra $35k to my $206k balance will be just the same when those taxes are due-seemingly impossible. But it is true that I do not know how to calculate the actual numbers to have a better idea of what kind of added interest the added $35k will make to my total that will be forgiven in 25yrs which I will then owe in taxes.
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’ve been working for a non-profit for 4.5 years, and am on IBR, and have made 47 payments (full, on-time, etc….in other words, “qualifying payments.”) I have certified my employment. About half my loans ($25k) are through FedLoans, and the other half are through Navient. I’m on IBR for both. Navient told me they “don’t handle PSLF.” FedLoans told me I need to move my loans to them, by contacting Navient and asking them to transfer them to FedLoans. I did, and Navient told me they couldn’t transfer them, and that I should consider consolidation. It looks like if I consolidate, I’ll lose credit for the payments I’ve made!
I don’t have a loan, but I owe money to my actually university. I can’t afford it although it’s a really low debt; it’s under 3k. I don’t know here to begin paying it back. I’m very young and while yes, I have a job, it isn’t enough to make a living off of as well as pay off this debt. What can I do to have that debt waved so I can move on with my education?
If you’re planning on taking advantage of federal loan forgiveness programs, you may not want to refinance your federal loans. Refinancing your federal student loans will disqualify you from any forgiveness programs. However, if you are ineligible for loan forgiveness, a refinance is the best way to lower your payments. To help determine if refinancing is right for you use our student loan refinancing calculator below.
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/questions https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher https://www.disabilitydischarge.com/ https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/disability-discharge https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/death https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/perkins https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans

I went to a community college in SE Missouri. A financial/education advisor was assigned to me like every other student. After receiving next to no true help from my assigned advisor, at my adamit request I was denied using any other then the one assigned. I must admit She did help with my decision to become a history teacher with great enthusiasm. Although she was a great help with setting my goal she gave me no instruction to accomplish my goal outside of what Prerequisite classes where required and what financial options where available. Nothing about what was required of me nor how to properly handle the responsibility that came along with the financial assistance I required. But the worst part was she couldn’t comprehend the details for the post 9/11 GI Bill causing her to provide inaccurate information as well as refused to take in the fact that I was unable to go full time and seemed to be quite annoyed that I wouldn’t cut out my income to follow the rules ”I” discovered the GI Bill required for assistance. Having been out of school for as long as I had and being ignorant to the financial assistance programs I made decisions on what little information I was able to muster, needless to say I became quite overwhelmed and was incapable of performing the tasks required. I then gave into her insistent advice and went full time to take advantage of free government assistance. This, was not a good decision on my part so I dropped a class (with correct/incorrect info I was able to drop one class without penalty) so I chose to drop biology having been the class I was struggling the most with this put me over a half a credit causing me to loose my GI Bill as well as Pell Grant. I also took out a federal loan to subsidize my lost income due to going full time. I didn’t go back the next semester because of my lost assistance and fear of putting myself into more debt. That being said, time has gone by and I’m more informed and less intimidated but can’t seem to come up with a plan to accomplish my goal/dream to teach. I can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a full time semester to get my assistance’s back. How can I go about loan deferral to gain approval for one more loan?

Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan and Education Refinance Loan for Parents Eligibility: For the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan and Education Refinance Loan for Parents, primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not reached the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required and may not be eligible for co-signer release. For the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan, applicants may not be currently enrolled in school and applicants with an Associate’s degree, or with no degree, must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced.  Citizens Bank observes the right to modify or discontinue these benefits at any time. Both Education Refinance Loans and Education Refinance Loan for Parents are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned or affordability, as applicable. The minimum student loan refinance amount is $10,000. Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. Resources are available to help the borrower make a decision, including a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits, at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private.
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.
When you consolidate federal loans, the government pays them off and replaces them with a direct consolidation loan. You’re generally eligible once you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.
I Would LOVE for somebody to help me figure out my student loans….. I have a company garnishing my wages from one company to another company I’m paying money too…. and then then I got another letter from a lawyer saying I owe more money..WHAT is going on? ???? I started out with maybe 35 To 40 thousand debt which is up to 70or 80thousand now…. and I don’t know what’s going on and I need somebody to help me…
I’m concerned about changes in loan information and the status of civil service enrollment. It appears purported loan was sold to Navient but the balances don’t match and there is no original balance, lender or name of school. When I went to get job training I was denied because the government had no record of my civil service registration from the 80’s. In order to get student loans this was necessary. I paid off loans from my BA but loans from private technical college have the issues. Can I have Navient verify the debt and address civil service and training issues?

Robert I really appreciate what you are doing here. This student loan thing is so complicated. I am the parent of a grad-student who graduated in May with a degree in film (screenwriting) we co-signed on his private loans ($130k) and he still doesn’t have permanent/full time work. We have spoken to the loan provider and they want us to repay the loans since our son can’t yet. I don’t know how many of these options are available for private loans. Right now they want $1100 per month, which we can’t pay and neither can our son. We should never have co-signed because now its going to affect our credit and his. What are out options? Thanks
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.
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 2.05% effective September 10, 2019.
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 currently owe 385,000 in student loans. My loans are a combination of undergraduate, law school and and LL.M degree. All of these loans are also at varying interest rates, from 5.8-8.5 and dating back to 2003. They are all federal and are direct, ffel, etc. One of the things I don’t understand is interest. I am currently on IBR which makes my payments affordable. But unfortunately I don’t make enough money to put a dent in the principal. Although my goal is to make more money, I just had the interest on my loan capitalized to the current amount because I did not recertify my IBR on time (this is my first year on IBR). I applied for reinstatement of IBR so I am waiting on approval. My question is, hypothetically if I am not able to increase my salary significantly enough to put a dent in the principal, will I owe BOTH the principal and the unpaid interest at the end of the 25 year term? And what happens to the unpaid interest while I am in repayment?
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.
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.
First off,this site offers great advice! I’m currently a teacher in CA and have been for 8 years. I have $46,000 left on my student loans. I’m pretty certain I qualify for $5,000 off of my loans for being a highly qualified teacher that has taught for 5 consecutive years (although I haven’t applied yet because I’d like to see if there are better options out there).However, are there any other options to lower my debt or even possibly have it forgiven? Any help is greatly appreciated!
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!

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 2.05% effective September 10, 2019.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 2.68% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.75% per year to 6.90% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.54% to 4.16% for the 5-year term loan, 1.86% to 4.21% for the 7-year term loan, 2.11% to 4.26% for the 10-year term loan, 2.36% to 4.51% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.61% to 4.76% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 2.68% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term would be from $178.27 to $194.73. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.00% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term would be from $136.69 to $147.77. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term would be from $102.44 to $113.04. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 15-year term would be from $76.50 to $87.94. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.75% per year to 6.90% per year for a 20-year term would be from $64.62 to $76.93.
It's almost mind-boggling how much money I'll save through refinancing my student loans with SoFi - I'd literally be paying tens of thousands more with my original loans. Now that I’ve refinanced my student loans with SoFi, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m able to put away a little bit more, think about long term goals, save for a house - and I know this burden isn’t going to be over my head for the rest of my life.
Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
I just have come across your website and this blog. A job well done, and thank you! I had to step down from my career in September of 2009 and file for disability. I was awarded full disability in August of 2011, and it was retroactive back to the time of initial filing – in September of 2009. I have been utilizing forbearance all this time, not knowing about “TPD Discharge” until this past week. My forbearance is up in six days, from today (according to Navient (formally Sallie Mae as I am sure you know), and I only have a little time left on forbearance – “student loan debt burden.” I have always paid any debt I owed and had full intentions of doing this as well. However, I had no clue my health and a surgery in 2011 to correct the “issue” would go awry overnight. I have read some on the “total and permanent disability discharge” and see that if they approve they would monitor you for five years to make sure you did not return to work. My goal is to return to work. I refuse to take “no” for an answer from a lot “people.” I just lost almost four years of returning to work after surgery due to the “mess up” with the surgery, and the fact that a neurosurgeon will not see a prior surgical patient until after a three-year-mark from the original surgery. I finally have consult appointments with to NS’s the first of December. Do you know if the TPD Discharge is retroactive (or if I can even apply if I am looking for it to be retroactive?” As well, I need to do something, quickly as my forbearance ends in six days, as I stated above. Would you suggest applying for a new forbearance right now and then embarking on the TPD Discharge? I feel horrible about this as I always pay my debt, but the interest and such is accruing, I do not make the money I used to make, no matter how much I made all these years working, your disability income is not substantial to survive on a “bare note” these days. I just need some help in understanding or if you have any thoughts about what to do. Thank you again for your help. I hope you enjoy your weekend!
I went through a state-funded program for vocational rehabilitation. The state’s classified me with a disability but I chose to get rehabilitated rather than go on SSI. Here’s the two part question. Based on this info would I still qualify as disabled even though I don’t collect Ssi ? And second I noticed that the school that the state put me through charged me $27,000 for that six months of training I can’t seem to get proof that I wasn’t supposed to be Billed. I think there’s fraud here but I can’t seem to prove it is there anything I can do in either case?
If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Loan or FFEL program loans. See StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive for more information and a form you can fill out when you have completed your teaching service.