drdarling16

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So this is probably a stupid question....

Like many here, I have a huge student loan debt, and many of them don't qualify for the REPAYE plan (unsubsidized, FFEL?). I was playing around with the repayment estimator and I found that about half of my loans qualify for it and half of them don't. Is there a way to use REPAYE on some loans and then IBR on the others? Loans around 270k with average 7.2 interest rate.

Also, how do you go about consolidating loans? I'm a psychiatry intern and I'm sure there are many jobs out there with loan forgiveness after residency, but I don't know if I should count on that. I know this topic has been discussed ad nauseam, but any advice is appreciated.
 

DrMidlife

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RangerBob

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I agree with DrMidline--consolidate the FFEL loans into the direct loan program, then you can enter REPAYE for all your loans. I'm not sure if you can actually have two repayment programs, so my guess is you'd have to use IBR if you don't.

If you've been making payments for a few years and are hoping for PSLF, then you need to think about things more carefully, as you'll lose all the eligible payments made on any loans consolidated as you now have a new loan.

I wouldn't count on any loan forgiveness, but hopefully something will be around, whether PSLF (unsure), or job-related (if it's in your contact, then that's the best since then you can count on it!). I think job-related payback programs (remember those are taxable as income) are getting more and more popular, so many jobs you apply for will have some loan payback programs. I just wouldn't count too much on them--maybe your job offers a bit, maybe none, but you won't know until you have an offer in your hand. And who knows what will happen with PSLF.
 
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drdarling16

drdarling16

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Thanks for your replies,

I am currently in the income based repayment plan for which I haven't been making payments yet, but I have resubmitted my new income and will start making payments next month. It's not too bad ($456/month) but the multiple interest rates on all of the loans kind of make me nervous. I heard congress could change those interest rates at any time?

So if I consolidate into the federal loan program it will average my interest rates and add to the 8th of a percent? Some of my loan rates are super high at 8.5%. Is it smarter to go with a private company?
 

DrMidlife

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but the multiple interest rates on all of the loans kind of make me nervous. I heard congress could change those interest rates at any time?
The rates you have are the rates you keep. Congress can change rates for loans not yet issued.
So if I consolidate into the federal loan program it will average my interest rates and add to the 8th of a percent?
Yep, that's the price of admission to get all your loans into REPAYE. (I think consolidation is also required for PSLF - that info is easy to find.)
Some of my loan rates are super high at 8.5%. Is it smarter to go with a private company?
If you do a private consolidation you lose every last shred of help the government offers you. You lose IBR, REPAYE, PSLF and other acronyms. You are on your own to understand what that means. In other words, you'd have to be willing to be the grownup reading the fine print on promissory notes for private lenders. With the federal loans, you can reasonably assume that you have enough options to survive.
 

DrMidlife

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Also: vote. As in: for president, congress, governors, state legislatures. You should very much care about the details of student loan reform proposals. It's theoretically possible that federal refinancing would come along before you're out of residency. About a decade ago people were able to get rates like 1%, 3% on a consolidation, but that was back when debt levels were more like $100k total.