Aug 24, 2019
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How Will I Be Able to Repay My Student Loans?

I’m going to be graduating college this year, and I realize that I have a lot more student loan debt than I ever imagined. My loans are now over $30,000, and they may hit near $40,000 during my last semester. I know that the career I chose will be worthwhile, but $40,000 is a lot of debt to start out my life.

What are my options when repaying my student loans?

Are there any options to keep payments low and affordable?

Student loans in the United States have reached over $1.5 trillion, with more than 40 million Americans repaying loans. You’re not alone in your fear that student loans will be a major burden on your future. Younger generations are stalling on buying homes or even getting married because they’re afraid of the massive amount of debt that they already have.

A lot of students recommend working with a student loan service provider which is responsible for making sure all of your loans are paid on time. Great Lakes loans are a good example, and they will allow you to manage all of your private and federal loans in one portal.

You will never have to jump from one portal to the next to locate your loan.

The company has everything right out in the open for you, and there are apps that can help you further manage your loan properly.

But that’s just how to manage the loans and doesn’t really do much to lower your loans. You do have the option, if you can, of paying the full amount on your loan payments each month. You simply send the company payment every month just like you would with any other form of debt.

Additional options to lower your payments are:

Consolidate

You can consolidate all of your loans, and this means making one payment to one company per month. The problem is that you will be assessed a fee, so you need to make sure that this fee is worth consolidating.

For example, let’s assume a private loan has a 10% interest rate. You may want to consolidate to a loan with 6% interest, but there may be a 4% charge for consolidating.

You’ll need to crunch the numbers over the course of the loan to be able to judge whether consolidation is the right path or not for you.

There are also government options which you can enter. IBR, REPAYE, PAYE and other programs that will look at your discretionary income and decide your payment based on this amount. The programs will require a payment of 10% to 20% of this income, and then the loans will normally be forgiven within 20 to 25 years.

But there’s a major catch here.

When you enter into these programs, your payments will do very little to lower your balances. I know someone very close to me that has been paying their loans for years on these programs, and the balances today are higher than they were at the start. The payment doesn’t even cover the interest, so this should be a short-term solution to a major debt rather than a 20-25-year sacrifice.

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