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Need advice on how to go about studen loans

Started by tgur10, May 12, 2016, 04:34:23 pm

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tgur10

Hello,
I am looking for proper advice on how i should go about my student loan path. I have tried to reach out to advisors and other forums but I am just terrified of being scammed and this looks like the most secure forum I can come to. Here is my story: I just graduated from grad school with 60K loans. My provider (great lakes) has automatically placed my account into a grace period and forbearance until November 2016. I will probably look into a "pay as you earn" payment plan and ask my loan provider to lift the forbearance so that I can start making payments soon. I just need the proper advice on what to do next. So far I am only looking at 60K in stafford loans. Do i need to consolidate? Should I look into loan forgiveness options? please help me not fall victim to a scam or overpaying. Thank you!!!

TheCollegeInvestor

The first step in not being scammed is only working with your loan servicer (Great Lakes) or doing it yourself on StudentLoans.gov (the official government website for your Federal student loans).

1. Consolidation - if you have multiple loans that make up the $60k, you can consolidate. It's a convenience thing, nothing more. Your payments all work out the same - it's just one payment instead of multiple (even though Great Lakes may bill it as one payment if all your loans are together there).

2. PAYE - Good choice if you qualify. I would start the process right now, to make sure you're on PAYE when your first payment is due (or sooner). Remember to recertify your income each year.

3. Loan forgiveness - if you are working in public service, definitely take advantage of PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness). Super easy to apply for and certify each year, and you'll get forgiveness after 120 payments (10 years). If you don't get into public service, the PAYE plan already comes with loan forgiveness after 20 years anyway. However, you will owe taxes on any amount forgiven.

Honestly, $60k isn't that bad especially since you just graduated. You went to school for a reason, so focus on that reason to boost your income. You can likely pay off that $60k in 5 years or so if you really work at it.  Then move on with your life to buy a house, etc.