(Closed) The dreaded student loans.. Help!

posted 9 years ago in College
Post # 3
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

consolidate your loans and pay what you can per month. when you get extra money (gifts, tax returns, etc) throw that at the loan. once you can afford more than the minimum montly payment, send whatever you can afford. that will help cut down on the interest accrued.

Post # 3
5976 posts
Bee Keeper

I consolidated my loans right out of college. Based on your situation and how much you have to pay back, it wouldn’t hurt to consolidate yours as well. If you get a higher paying job, you can start making higher payments to pay off the loans faster. You don’t always have to pay the minimum amount on your loans. So though you’d be stretching them out over 30 years and paying more interest over them over the long run, you could pay off what you can when you can.

Post # 4
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Yeah, student loan payments eat up a quarter of my income every single month and it’s tough. My advice is to consolidate them now, then when you are in a better position financially, pay more than the minimums every month to avoid the hefty interest added on.

Also, I was able to call one of my loan servicers and get my payment reduced. I explained to them that I was unable to make the minimum monthly payment and could they do anything. They were able to make it lower for the next 3 years and then it will be a higher amount after that, giving me time to increase my income.

Good luck!

Post # 5
47286 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You may have to consolidate now to get a payment that you can live with. You could then make adjsutments to your lifestyle and budget, save up and pay off that debt as fast as possible to cut the interest paid. Even changing your payment to every 2 weeks, (adding up to the same as the monthy payment) instead of monthly will lower the time to pay off your loans by years.

Post # 6
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

So sorry to hear you are dealing with the lovely student loans. I took out $60k, the interest made it $100k and over 30yrs I will pay back well over $300k. So needless to say I looked at every option inside out. Unfortunately since of the amount of unsecured debt, no banks will work with me so I am student with Sallie Mae (aka loan shark). Private bank like some of the ones you listed will consolodate up to 30k of student loans, I looked into Chase, Wachavia, Wells Fargo, etc. and found that the will consolidate up to 30k of unsecrued debt. If you have them all under 1 account they may be easier to manage and you may be able to work with the bank in regards to income sensitive repayments. You could do gradual repayments which allow you to pay less in the beginning and have the amount increased over time. The other option would be to extend them to the 30yr plan, I think you can do that as long as you have a minimum of 25k in debt. This does not mean you need to wait 30 yrs to pay them off. But it will buy you some time until you get on your feet. Eventually you will be able to put away money to either pay them off or if you buy a home you can always get a 2nd mortgage on your home.

Post # 7
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Mr.ND and I are looking closely at what our budgets will be when I graduate (I’ve got a bit over a year left) and I think we plan to try to live minimally for the next few years and pay off as much as we can. Basically, we’ll be living off of one salary (and that’s for everything- rent/insurance/fun $, etc) and paying on loans with the other person’s income. I just couldn’t justify paying an extra $10K or $20K in interest just for the convenience of living comfortably/nicely those first years out of school. I’d rather live very modestly and wipe out as much as I can, but that really is just one approach and by no means do I think it’s best for everyone.

I think if I were you, I’d consolidate my loans to get the lower payments, but pay as much as you can (so over the minimum) to reduce the interest you’ll end up paying over time. We’re crazy, but we’re planning to try to knock these things out in about 5 years. I think you and Fiance need to get together one night, look at projected expenses and incomes, and see how things can shake out. Good luck, I’m hating my student loans and I’m not even paying on them yet 🙁

Post # 8
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I consolidated my federal loans, but you cannot consolidate private loans (if any of those are). I would pay those off first because they usually have variable interest rates.  My private (citibank) student loans were about $25,000 and were at about a 7% interest rate for awhile. It helped when interest rates when down to about 3% so I made double or triple payments. 

If you cannot pay both, defer your federal loans for awhile while you pay down your private loans (I think it’s 6 months at a time) and make sure you stay up on dates if you need to defer again for another 6 months. My private loans could be deferred, but only for 1 year total (of the life of the loan) so I only deferred them for 6 months when I was looking for employment.

Post # 9
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Consolidate. I wish I could but my loan companies won’t work together on it. I was in the same situation as you paying 500/month on my SL with a FT job that paid less than 1200/month. Add in insurance, car payment, rent, utilities I was in the red. I had to decrease my minimum payment which added about 3k to my overall loan. Now I have a better job and re-worked my loans so I am paying more and therefore paying less overall. It sucks but things get better. Most important thing for me was keeping afloat and unfortunately student loans don’t allow you the luxury of saving all the time.

Post # 10
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have loans left and right.  $500 a month and I am pretty clueless about consolidating.  I have to figure this out too!  And mine are from two different states… :/

Post # 12
2495 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@2PeasinaPod: You said exactly what I was going to say!  OP… that’s great advice…. 🙂

I HIGHLY recommend living on only 1 of your incomes when it becomes possible to do so.  Right now, Darling Husband and I are in the same situation as you are.  We both have lower paying jobs and together pull in about 30k… not a ton.  BUT, when Darling Husband joins the Navy, our income will double, counting both of our jobs. 

Our plan is to live solely on his income, then put my income totally to loans and savings.  So, even though our income will change drastically, our standard of living will basically stay the same since we’ll be living only on DH’s salary.  We’re estimating that I’ll be able to pay off most of my loans (25k) in about a year or year and a half doing it that way.

It takes a LOT of discipline… it’s hard to not have a lot of money, especially when we see a lot of our friends spending their money on nice things and we have all goodwill furniture.  We can’t go out as much, have to save on groceries, turn our lights off all the time, etc.  But, the upside is that we’re proactively working towards a better future and learning good money habits now.

Also consider meeting with a financial planner.  Our bank offers a free consultation with one and we’re meeting with her tomorrow.  They may be able to help you maximize what you’re bringing in!  Good luck!!

Post # 13
5493 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

I graduated law school with somewhere near $140,000 in student loans.  I too had multiple loans, (private, government, etc etc).  My payments the first few months were near $1800.  after researching I consolidated the loans and got on the graduated 20 year re-payment plan.  This means that my payments start lower and increase over time as my salary increases.  This got my payments down to a painless $861 per month (for now).  Yes in the end I’ll pay more interests but I’m ok with that.  This way I’m not living paycheck to paycheck and the payments don’t really effect my financial goals/situation.  I highly recommend you consolidate and look into a graduated option.

Post # 14
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I also consolidated my loans right after my BS. I couldnt consolidate my private loans but any federal loans can be consolidated. I was also wondering who you are consilidating through. I did it through direct loans and they averaged out my interest rates so that it really ended up being the same thing except my payments are determined on an income bracket.

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