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$165k student loan repayment strategy
July 17, 2020
4:08 pm
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July 17, 2020
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I have $140k in federal student loans with an average interest rate of roughly 6.5% and an additional $25k in private loans with an average interest rate around 4%. Long story short, I pursued a graduate degree for nearly 2 years and ended up having to withdraw from the program due to health problems that would not allow me to continue. I have since changed paths and will be graduating in spring 2021 with a nursing degree. I anticipate having an annual personal income of around $65-75k initially. I’m planning to go to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner within the next 5-6 years, which would make my annual salary closer to $90-110k. My SO currently makes around $55k/yr, and we will likely get married within the next two years. I’m trying to figure out the best strategy for repayment of my student loans. Should I enroll in PAYE or REPAYE for my federal loans and keep my private loans on the standard 10 year repayment? Or should I refinance all of my loans to a lower interest rate for an extended 20-year term? I have considered pursuing PSLF for my federal loans, but the program’s instability and uncertain future makes me leery, as well as the fact that so many applicants over the past couple of years have been denied forgiveness after making 10 years of payments.

July 23, 2020
6:15 pm
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Big questions here.

I’d start by saying there is a lot to consider from a refinance vs chasing after PSLF standpoint. This article looks at many of the issues borrowers face when making the decision: https://studentloansherpa.com/aggressive-wait-public-service-loan-forgivness-pslf/

I’d also add that I think PSLF is still a reasonable option for borrowers to consider. Concerns about the program being eliminated and worries about actually qualifying are both valid, but if it is the route that could save the most money, it might be worth pursuing. My thoughts on the future of PSLF as well as the protections in place for current borrowers can be found here: https://studentloansherpa.com/future-pslf/

Hopefully those two articles shed some light for you.

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