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So confusing!

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New Contributor

So confusing!

Hi all,

 

As by the title, I am very confused and not sure where to start with the repaying of my student loans.

I currently have $163k in loans through Nelnet, monthly payment of $1,700+:

-Loan categories A-O (from each of the semesters?)

-Grad and undergrad loans,

-A mix of Direct Loans- Stafford Unsubzidized and Subsidized

-Direct Loan Grads

-Interest rates anywhere from 3.81-7%

 

I graduated this past August, and will be starting a second PRN part-time job for a second hospital, but cannot afford the $1,700 a month that Nelnet is stating that I need to start paying in March. Should I call Nelnet and try to set up a better repayment plan, should I try consolidating? I am not entirely sure where to start, and any help would be greatly appreciated! Smiley Happy

 

Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES 6
New Visitor

Re: So confusing!

go to Studentloan.gov/idr 

Apply for an Income Driven Repayment plan. 

if your income has not gone down since you last filed taxes the IRS data tool will transfer ur tax information and will electronically submit it to your servicer. if your income has gone down since 2017 tax return you can submit one pay stub from last 90 days to have the payment  calculate based on the new income. if you don't get pay stubs you can self certify your income. The $1700 pymt is what you would pay for ten years so just change the plan. 

Message 2 of 7
New Contributor

Re: So confusing!

Thanks for your reply! I will check it out this evening after work. I just started the first job the week of Thanksgiving, so it will not have gone up much from last year. Is the income driven repayment only for 10 years, or can I choose one of the other options?

Message 3 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: So confusing!

Ikr! They seems to give you all the help in the world getting you the loans but when it's time to pay them back... They just drop you into a mine field. The truth that they will rarely tell you is that currently a part of the educational debt crisis is due to students leaving school and being automatically put on the standard repayment plan, which is calculated so that you'll be finished paying off your loan in 10 years. Also most people can never afford the payments and servicers are *not* there to help you; they rarely tell you your options. Even the graduated plan (which starts off low and increases to unaffordable) or the extended repayment plan (which will cause your loan to ballon with interest) become unwise options.
The Income-driven repayment (IDR) plans are what many people believe they should put students on by default. There are several plans: REPAYE/ PAY, Income-based repayment (IBR) plan, income-contingent. They all will lead to loan forgiveness, many in 20 years, graduate loans in 25. REPAYE is often the lowest at only 10% of your disposable income minus the federal poverty level . It counts a spouse's income but also their federal loans. IBR is often 15%. Income-contingent is at maximum the Standard plan repayments (usually used by parents with plus loans). Your payments on the lowest plan can be as low as $0/ month and you certify each year with your income documents. Additionally if you work in public service, you can apply for that program too and have low payments and have your loans forgiven in only 10 years equivalent of monthly payments.
I'll give you the repayment calculator. It estimates your monthly payment, how much you will have paid by the end of the forgiveness period and how much, if anything will be forgiven. I've found it always overestimates how much I will pay and it takes into account significant annual raises in income that don't happen much anymore.
I'm telling you this because when you fill out your Income-driven repayment plan, it will ask you what plan you want. I strongly suggest you pick a plan you calculate will be least expensive; if you let the servicers pick, they will often pick the most expensive one. IRS import through the online application is fastest the first time. After that you can use your lowest paycheck during the year. Make sure to put the annual certification in your calendar at least month early because they often never remind you it's coming due.
Do you think you'll be working in public service or at a non-profit?



Message 4 of 7
New Contributor

Re: So confusing!

Thanks a bunch for the help Sabii! It looks like I will still have some more research to do.

I will be working part-time in 2 non-profit hospitals, until I can get some full-time work (hopefully at one of them).

 

Message 5 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: So confusing!

Mr Awesome 33:
You're most welcome. It's all complicated and the websites are imo both overly technical and yet not enough information.
If I were you I'd sign up for the IDR, probably REPAYE, like today. The reason being Public Service Loan forgiveness, which has to be majority on an IDR plan, will count payments before you applied but only do far as when you qualified. You are in a unique position that even if you didn't sign up for PSLF today you'd still be one of the few who could actually be done with your loans within 10 years. It's okay you have to jobs. You just have to work 30 hours total at a qualifying job.
Once you apply for an IDR they will also put you on administrative forbearance while it processes. Your $1700 payment won't be required.
Definitely get your IDR application in and do it online so it will submit quicker. It'll used your tax information from 2017 so that might also be a lower payment for you than using your current pay. Good luck!
Official Payment Estimator (log in and it auto-populates your loan information)
https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action



Message 6 of 7
New Contributor

Re: So confusing!

Thanks again Sabii! I have started filling out the applications for both the IDR and the PSLF! Smiley Happy

Message 7 of 7