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Student Loans — How to get started in Repayment

By Terry Savage on October 31, 2020 | College Savings / Student Loans

Hello! This is a question about student loan refinancing. We have tried to find some advice online, but it is overwhelming. I have heard Terry many times on WGN and just find her to be so calm and reassuring, I thought I would reach out for advice.

Daughter graduated from a liberal art college as well as mortuary school. She currently has approx $27,000 federal loans and $71000 in private loans through Sallie Mae. That number is daunting and has me almost frozen with where to start. She is currently an apprentice for the next year making about $30,000.

Any direction to start would be great!

Thank you so much for your time.

Terry Says

I can understand how overwhelming this is. Didn’t you have any idea how big this total was as she was in school — and consider a less expensive education? Oh well, that ship has sailed!
First, you need to understand that Federal student loans are completely separate from private loans — and have much different requirements and options for repayments.
If she just graduated she must contact her Federal student loan servicer and set up a repayment plan. There are various options for deferment and graduated repayment schedules, but she must get this set up within 6 months of graduation. To find ALL her Federal student loans and the seervicer, go to www.studentaid.gov.

The private student loans (and Sallie Mae is just another private lender) are a completely different story. I’m guessing you had to co-sign those loans. they can be refinanced, but given her income and debt level, you will certainly have to co-sign yourself. Go to www.Credible.com to compare deals, or directly to one of the largest student loan refinancers, www.SoFi.com to get an idea of whether you can save on rates.

But since you’re on the hook, and the interest will add up over the years, I strongly suggest that you put as much of your money toward the loans as you possibly can.

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