Starting new job out of grad school at a non profit company. I intend to continue my career in non profit or government. Aproximately $85,000 in debt from undegrad and grad school, all direct student loans serviced thru Navient. Currently making payments on undergrad loans. Grad school loans will enter payment phase in December. Currently on the regular payment schedule, over ten years.
1. Is consolidation a good strategy?
2. Should I consider switching to the PAYE or REPAYE program?
3. I am interested in the Public Loan Forgiveness Program. In your opinion, is this something I can sign up on my own or is it best to utilize a company to assist with the processing of the application? We have heard horror stories about Navient not processing the paperwork.
Thank you for your help!
1. Doesn't matter unless you need to convert an old FFEL loan to Direct. Actually could harm you by resetting any clock you have accrued to date. Read this: https://thecollegeinvestor.com/21662/student-loan-consolidation/
2. Pick the program that has the lowest monthly payment so you maximize PSLF. Just make sure it qualifies.
3. DIY. It's so incredibly easy to fill out the forms. If you graduated college, you can do it! A third party can't help you with poor loan servicing. What I recommend is that you are diligent in your paperwork. Keep a copy. Send all paperwork each year certified mail with a return receipt. That way you have proof it wasn't just mailed, but received.
Remember, PSLF requires:
1. Qualifying Loans (Direct loans, not old FFEL loans)
2. Qualifying Repayment Plan (10 year standard, IBR, PAYE, RePAYE, ICR)
3. Qualifying & Certified Employment
Hi. Can you tell me how to apply for income driven repayment plan?
There are multiple ways to do it:
- Your lenders website (some of them)
- Call your lender
- Studentloans.gov (scroll to the bottom, select Apply for an income-driven repayment plan)
- Print the income-driven repayment plan application, fill it out, and mail it to your lender