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How the FART do I go about even considering loan consolidation?
September 8, 2016
5:17 pm
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August 20, 2016
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Hi there,

I recently graduated and I'm in my grace period with $50,000+ of student loan debt, a $10,000 parent plus loan that I'm responsible to pay back -- because my parents won't, and a $5,000 private loan. I want to figure out the absolute best way to pay back my loans, quickly and efficiently. I want to consider loan consolidation but I don't even know how to get started.

I was thinking of creating an Excel spreadsheet with all my loan information and formulas that keep my information up-to-date with interest rates, etc. Once I find some consolidation interest rates from different lenders, I'm hoping to provide the info to my University finance professor who I'm sure could help me with the calculations to determine what is my best option! I'm not the best at figuring all that out on Excel, so I'm having a techy friend of mine work on that. But it's on me to find my consolidation option -- all my repayment options actually.

HELP, HELP, HELP! I'm going through FedLoan Servicing and my private loan goes through Great Lakes. Unsure where the parent loan falls.

Thanks in advance!

September 11, 2016
10:56 pm
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Indiana
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Before we start, I have a couple questions... can you give a breakdown of the loans by interest rate and whether they are federal or private? Also, what is the objective in your plan? Do you want to go for the lowest monthly payment or are you trying to get them paid off as soon as possible?

September 12, 2016
12:49 pm
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Jeaves
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Hey, Swagoner94. As a long-time loan sufferer, here is my two cents worth of advice. First, you should definitely talk with a financial person (who is not a parent of yours). In the past, I had my loans consolidated, but I regret doing that now. The reason is that, had I just targeted my payments on the higher interest loans first, I would have made a larger dent in my overall student debt. Since I didn't do that, the debt has snowballed into something that seems unmanageable. I am now unable to focus on the larger interest loans, because my payments seem to be applied by the servicing company and disappear into a black hole, without making much impact. Do some research and focus on the most volatile loans first. Lower interest loans can be dealt with much more easily after you've knocked out the high interest loans. Pay off higher interest/unsubsidized loans FIRST (while making minimum payments on subsidized/lower interest loans). This will save your life. It will really suck at first, but it will definitely get better. In the meantime, keep trying to figure out ways to increase your income. You aren't stuck at your current salary.
Best,
J

November 23, 2016
4:40 pm
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Michael Lux said

Before we start, I have a couple questions... can you give a breakdown of the loans by interest rate and whether they are federal or private? Also, what is the objective in your plan? Do you want to go for the lowest monthly payment or are you trying to get them paid off as soon as possible?

I have 11 total federal loans ranging from $2,000 - $5,000 with interest rates ranging from 3% to nearly 7%.
Making minimum payments on all loans gives me a monthly payment of $450.60.... for the next 10 years of my life.

I have one private loan for roughly $6.5K at an interest rate of 7.9% (digusting) and set to make payments of $63.66.

I have a parent PLUS loan originally for roughly $9K and 6.84% interest set to make payments of about $105.7 a month.

Basically, what're my options?

December 4, 2016
10:57 am
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Indiana
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I would say that step number one is to try to get you payments lowered across the board.

For your federal loans, it sounds like you are on the standard repayment plan. Look into income driven repayment plans such as Pay As You Earn or Revised Pay As You Earn. These plans can save a ton of money each month... but the downside is that you will probably still be dealing with this debt after 10 years.

As for the private loan, you might want to refinance that right away. Depending on your income and credit score, you should be able to beat the current 8%. Learn more about refinancing here: http://studentloansherpa.com/s.....n-reviews/

Is the Parent PLUS loan for your educational expenses and in your parent's name or is it a loan you took out to pay for a child's college costs?

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