Buried under $100k in student loans upon graduation, many recent college graduates get their first real taste of being in debt.
Most college graduates have a grace period of six months after graduation, during which interest will not accrue on their student loans and no payments are required. After those six months, however, college graduates must begin tackling their debt, one month at a time.
For new graduates with living costs, travel, and other expenses, this will be challenging. For new graduates who have yet to secure a starting salary, this may be impossible.
What to do with your $100K in Student Loans
Don’t worry. We’ve helped thousands of borrowers and we’re here to help you. So, read on for our list of possible ways to save on your monthly payments and tackle your debt the right way.
Consolidate Your Student Loans
Private student loan consolidation or “refinancing” is a tried and true method of saving money on your student loans. If you have $100K in student loans, it’s likely that you probably have a mix of federal and private loans.
Consolidating your student loans will combine multiple federal and private loans into one affordable payment. Your new student loan will also likely have a lower interest rate.
Add a Credit-Worthy Cosigner
A cosigner does not need to be a parent or relative. To benefit your financial situation, a co-signer just needs to be credit-worthy and trustworthy. Adding a cosigner can lower your interest rates upon refinancing your student loans. The more you demonstrate to lenders that you’re not a risky borrower, the more comfortable they will feel about lending to you.
Not sure which cosigner is right for you? Credible allows you to easily compare cosigners to see which will give you the best rates. Cha-ching!
Pay Off the Expensive Loans First
Student loan consolidation will pay off your current debt and give you a brand new student loan with an interest rate that is a weighted average of your former loans. So, if you have one outstanding student loan with an incredibly high-interest rate, it may actually be beneficial in the long run to focus on paying off that loan first.
Alternatively, refinance your high-interest rate loans and keep the loans with the terms you like.
Student Loan Repayment Programs
Under President Obama’s Pay-As-You-Earn program, students with loans that meet certain income eligibility standards will only need to pay 10 percent of their discretionary income for a maximum of 20 years. Income-based repayment is another popular option that many federal borrowers take advantage of.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
If you work full-time for the government or in any public service job, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This means that you only have to make payments for 10 years, or 120 qualifying payments, after which the remaining loan is forgiven. It should be noted that only federal loans are eligible; specifically, only direct loans are eligible for PSLF. Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loans are not eligible.
There are various ways to make your monthly payments more affordable. Above all, what matters most is that you make your student loan monthly payments on time. We hope these tips will aid you in doing so and help repay your debt faster.
For more information about student loan consolidation, or to learn more about student loans, visit Credible.
*The $400 average savings calculation is based on 343 actual Credible users from 1/1/17 through 6/30/18 whose goal was to lower their monthly payment, selected a 5 year or longer term, had a balance greater than or equal to the average of $100,000, and who shared their prior monthly payment and interest rates. Your actual monthly savings may vary depending on the interest rate, balance, and other factors.