This company says it will forgive all your student loans. Here’s what you need to know.
Student Loan Forgiveness
Want student loan forgiveness?
There are many companies that promise to forgive your student loans. Obama Student Loan Forgiveness. Trump Student Loan Forgiveness. They pop up in Google searches. You’ll find them in internet ads and on billboards too. The promise is simple and works like this: pay them a fee and they will help you get student loan forgiveness. It sounds like a good offer, right? If you owe $100,000 of student loan debt and a company offers to forgive your student loan debt for $1,000, who wouldn’t pay that fee?
The problem is: none of this is real. None of it. No company can magically forgive your student loans.
If you remember this, you will save so much time and money. Don’t pay an upfront fee, or any fee, for student loan forgiveness. Student loan forgiveness is offered through the federal government for your federal student loans. (State and local governments, for example, also may offer some form of student loan forgiveness too.)
These companies are trying to confuse you. There are several ways to receive student loan forgiveness, but they apply only to federal student loans. Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness are government programs that forgive student loans for public servants and teachers, respectively. Income-driven repayment plans also can offer student loan forgiveness for federal student loans. Importantly, you don’t need to hire a private company to enroll in, or apply to, any of these federal programs. They are all free and are available through the U.S. Department of Education.
Consolidate Student Loans
For a fee, other companies offer student loan consolidation, and promise to lower your monthly payments.
Remember this: Never pay a fee for student loan consolidation. Student loan consolidation is completely free through the federal government. However, student loan consolidation does not lower your interest rate or your monthly payment. With student loan consolidation, your monthly payment is equal to a weighted average of the interest rates on your current federal student loans, rounded up to the nearest 1/8%. Visit Studentloans.gov or call 1-800-557-7394 for more information on student loan consolidation.
Student Loan Refinancing
If your goal is to lower your student loan interest rate and monthly payment, the best strategy is to refinance your student loans. You can refinance federal student loans, private student loans or both. Student loan refinance has no fees and there is no limit how often you can refinance. So, even if you already refinanced your student loans, you can refinance again if you can qualify for a lower interest rate. Since the federal government does not refinance student loans, you can refinance with private lenders. You’ll need a good credit score, stable and recurring monthly income, and a low debt-to-income ratio.
If you don’t qualify on your own, you can apply with a qualified co-signer to help you get approved and even get a lower interest rate. While you’ll no longer have access to forbearance or income-driven repayment, many student loan refinance lenders allow you to pause payments if you lose your job or face economic hardship.
Student loan refinance rates have dropped absurdly low and are now as low as 1.81%. You can check your rate for free with no impact to your credit score is about two minutes. Then, if you like your new interest rate, you can apply online in about 10-15 minutes.
This student loan refinance calculator can show you how you can save.
For example, let’s assume you have $50,000 of student loan debt with an 8% interest rate and 10-year repayment term. If you refinance student loans with a 2% interest rate, you would save $147 each month and $17,588 total.