If you’re a student looking for help with your student loans, this guide is here to provide you with everything you need to know. You’ll go over the basics of student loans, repayment options available, student loan help center and how to get information about all kinds of loan forgiveness programs.
Loan Consolidation and Refinancing
Consolidating your student loans is often the first step in paying off debt and regaining control of your finances. It essentially combines several different loans into one, which can make it easier to pay off—especially if you have multiple loans from different lenders with different repayment plans.
Refinancing is similar to consolidation in that it allows you to choose a new lender who will set up a new repayment plan for your loan. However, refinancing usually involves applying for a new loan with lower interest rates than those currently attached to your current debt, allowing you to reduce what you pay each month on all of your loans combined.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Forgiveness programs are a great way to help you reduce the amount of student loan debt that you have. SoFi professionals say, “They have a page fully dedicated to helping you navigate, understand, and manage your student loans.” Here’s a list of the most common student loan forgiveness programs:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
- Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Program
- AmeriCorps and Peace Corps Volunteers Loan Forgiveness Program
- Military Service Members Loan Forgiveness Program
Income-Driven Repayment Plans
You have a variety of options to consider when it comes to your student loans. One such option is an income-driven repayment plan, which allows you to lower your monthly payment based on your income.
This can be helpful if you need more time to pay off debt or if you’re having trouble making payments due to financial hardship, among other reasons. The good news is that there are several income-driven repayment plans available—and they’re all relatively easy to apply for online.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is a federal student loan repayment program that forgives qualified student loans after 120 payments.
To be eligible for PSLF, you must:
- Be on an income-driven plan and make normal monthly payments for 10 years.
- Make all of your 120 payments under an income-driven plan on time and in full.
Other Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
While there are several types of student loan forgiveness programs, you may be wondering if there are any other options.
The federal government offers several other student loan forgiveness programs. If you’re a doctor, dentist or other health professional and plan on working in an underserved area after medical school, the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program may be able to help you pay off some or all of your loans by providing scholarships for medical education and additional repayable service obligations as part of their repayment program.
Suppose you’re looking for a way to pay off your debt without returning to school. In that case, the Perkins Loan Program offers income-based repayments for nurses who work in nursing shortage areas for two years at hospitals that serve low-income populations or serve one year at health centers that provide primary care services. You can also check out other such guides on how nurses can get rid of their debt faster than they might think!
You’re not alone in your student loan debt, and plenty of resources are available to help you find relief. The first step is to contact your lender or servicer to find out what options are available.