Should I Use the Standard 10-Year Repayment Plan?

Whether you’re considering taking out a federal student loan to pay for school, you’re in college and in debt, or you’ve just graduated, you may go with the default repayment plan of 10 years.

That isn’t the only option, however.

By learning more about the Standard Repayment Plan, you can decide if it’s the right choice for you or you want to go a different route.

What Is the Standard Repayment Plan for Student Loans?

Upon graduation from college or dropping below half-time enrollment, you’ll have a six-month grace period for a Direct Loan program loan (nine months for a federal Perkins Loan) when you don’t have to make payments.

Once that ends, you’ll begin the Standard Repayment Plan, the default for all federal student loan borrowers once they have left school, unless you choose a different plan, perhaps one where you make lower monthly payments, extend your repayment period, or both.

The standard plan sets your monthly payments at a certain amount so that you will have your loans paid off within 10 years.

Standard Repayment Plan Eligibility

As you explore student loan repayment plans, you can make sure you are eligible for the standard plan if it sounds fine.

Loans That Are Eligible

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans and Direct Loans qualify for the Standard Repayment Plan. They include:

•   Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

•   Direct PLUS Loans

•   Direct Consolidation Loans

•   FFEL consolidation loans

•   FFEL PLUS loans

Keep in mind that you will only be able to use the Standard Repayment Plan if you have federal student loans, not private student loans.

How Does the Standard Repayment Plan Work?

The Standard Repayment Plan features fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. Because the plan offers a relatively short repayment period and monthly payments don’t change, it will save you more money in interest than longer repayment plans at the same rate.

If you just graduated with the average student loan debt of $39,400 at 5% interest, you’ll pay $10,748 in total interest. Expanding to 25 years at the same rate will lower your monthly payment, but you’ll end up paying nearly $29,700 in total interest.

There’s a variation on the 10-year theme: the graduated repayment plan, which keeps repayment costs low for recent graduates who may have lower starting salaries but who expect to see their pay increase substantially over 10 years.

Payments on the Standard Plan

What may make the Standard Repayment Plan less appealing to some borrowers is that payments will likely be higher than on any other federal repayment plan, thanks to the short term.

For people with a large amount of student debt or high interest rates, the monthly payments can be daunting or unmanageable. You might face sticker shock when you receive your first bill after your grace period, so don’t let it come as a surprise.

To determine if the Standard Repayment Plan is a good option for you, you could use the federal Loan Simulator to calculate student loan payments. Or contact your loan servicer before your first payment is due to see what you will owe each month.

Changing Your Repayment Schedule

If you want to change your repayment schedule or plan, call your loan servicer and see what they can do.

You’ll need to contact each loan servicer if you took out more than one loan and want to change repayment schedules.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the Standard Repayment Plan?

There are upsides and downsides to weigh when considering the Standard Repayment Plan.

Pros

You will pay off your loans in less time than you would with other types of federal repayment plans, which would allow you to set aside money for things like purchasing a home.

You’ll save money on interest, since you’re paying your loan back faster than you would on other federal plans.

The plan offers predictability. Payments are the same amount every month.

Cons

Your monthly payments will probably be higher than payments made under other student loan repayment plans with extended repayment periods.

And monthly payments are going to be based on the number of years you’ll take to repay the loan, not on how much you can afford, as with income-based repayment plans.

The Takeaway

The federal Standard Repayment Plan of 10 years could be right for you if you’re able to keep up with payments and you want to pay off your debt quickly.

An option is to refinance your student loans to improve your interest rate and possibly change your loan term. Just realize that refinancing federal student loans into a private student loan means giving up federal benefits like income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness.

SoFi offers enticing interest rates on refinancing and charges no application or origination fees. Look for special offers.

It’s easy to check your rate on a SoFi refi.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Source: sofi.com

What Is a Direct Consolidation Loan?

A Direct Consolidation Loan combines different federal student loans into a single loan, resulting in one monthly payment. If you have multiple federal student loans, this could be one way to simplify the repayment process and more easily stay on top of student loan payments. It will also set you up for eventual loan forgiveness, based on some requirements for different loan types and income-driven repayment plans.

While consolidation of student loans can lower your monthly payment by extending your repayment timeline, you typically end up paying more overall due to the additional interest you pay when lengthening your loan term. Before you commit, make sure to run the numbers and consider the pros and cons of a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Is a Direct Consolidation Loan a Good Idea?

Deciding if consolidation is right for you depends on whether your desire to simplify your payments outweighs the potential loss of some benefits.

Before you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, make sure you calculate how much you could end up owing over time, based on your new repayment schedule. And if there are Direct Loans you don’t wish to consolidate, perhaps because they are nearly paid off, you’ll still want to factor in those payments when calculating how much you can afford to pay each month on your consolidated loan.

Pros of Direct Consolidation Loans

Can simplify repayment: The first thing to consider is if you currently have multiple federal student loans with different servicers, meaning you have to log in to two or more separate accounts to pay your student loan bills each month. In this instance, consolidation can make life a little easier because the process will give you a single loan with a single bill each month.

Can lower your monthly payments: Consolidation can also lower your monthly payment amount, since a Direct Consolidation Loan has a repayment period of anywhere from the standard 10 years to 30 years . Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for multiple repayment plans, but on a Standard or Graduated plan, you must have less than $7,500 in total debt to have the maximum repayment time set at 10 years. If your total debt is $60,000 or more, your Graduated or Standard repayment plan will be spread over 30 years. For all debt amounts in between, the term will be between 12 to 25 years for repayment.

Can allow you to switch from a variable to a fixed rate: If you have any variable-rate loans, consolidation will make it so you can switch to a fixed interest rate.

Can make loans eligible for forgiveness: If you consolidate loans other than Direct Loans, such as Perkins Loans (drawn before the program was discontinued), those loans may become eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) once consolidated, whereas they were not eligible before.

Cons of Direct Consolidation Loans

Can lead you to make more payments and pay more in interest: As we mentioned, unless you have less than $7,500 in total debt, your repayment period will be extended beyond the standard 10 years. This means you will make more payments and pay more in interest, unless you switch to a different student loan repayment plan.

Can make you lose some benefits: Consolidation can also cost you some benefits that only non-consolidated loans are eligible for, including access to some loan cancellation options. It’s a good idea to check in with your loan program before opting for a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Can cause you to lose credit for payments toward loan forgiveness: One of the most important things to consider before consolidation is that if you are currently paying your loans using an income-driven repayment plan, or have already made qualifying payments toward PSLF, consolidating your loans will result in the loss of credit for payments already made toward loan forgiveness.

How to Apply for a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan

The Direct Loan Consolidation application process is available through StudentLoans.gov and comes with no fees. You simply fill out the online application, or if needed, you can print out a paper version and mail it. To make things easier, it may help to gather all of your loan records, accounts and bills on hand as you work through the form. The process takes about 30 minutes total.

Almost all federal student loans are eligible for consolidation. If you have private education loans, you cannot consolidate them with your federal loans. Also note that you can’t consolidate your loans while in school and must graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment in order to pursue consolidation. Parent PLUS loans can’t be consolidated with loans in the student’s name.

You can also select which loans you do and do not want to consolidate on your loan application. For instance, if you have a loan that will be paid off in a short amount of time, you might consider leaving it out of the consolidation, or if you have already made qualifying payments toward forgiveness on certain loans.

There might be other reasons you don’t want to include a certain loan in your Direct Consolidation Loan — consider the features of each individual loan before deciding whether to consolidate. Of course, if you keep one or more loans out of the Direct Consolidation Loan, you’ll end up with at least two different payment plans and monthly student loan bills.

Remember to keep making payments on your loans during the application process, until you are notified that they have been paid off by your new Direct Consolidation Loan. Your first new payment will be due within two months of when your Direct Consolidation Loan is first paid out.

Repayment Plans for Consolidation Loans

A Direct Consolidation Loan will have a fixed interest rate. The fixed rate will be the weighted average of all of the interest rates for the loans you are consolidating, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent. This means that the interest rate on your largest loan will have the most impact on your consolidation interest rate, whether that interest rate is high or low.

When you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, you must also be prepared to select a repayment plan. Many repayment plans are available for Direct Consolidation Loans, including:

•   Standard repayment plan

•   Graduated repayment plan

•   Extended repayment plan

•   Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE)

•   Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE)

•   Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)

•   Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)

Consolidation for Defaulted Student Loans

Consolidation can also help student loans that are currently in default. Student loans will go into default after 270 days without payment, which can result in consequences and loss of benefits, such as damaging your credit score or possible wage garnishment.

Since loans in default are accelerated, and the entire unpaid balance becomes due when you enter default, consolidation is worth considering since it allows you to pay off one or more federal student loans with the new Direct Consolidation Loan.

Once your consolidated loan is out of default, you can repay the Direct Consolidation Loan under an income-driven repayment plan or make three consecutive payments. Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for benefits such as deferment, forbearance and loan forgiveness.

Refinancing vs Consolidation for Student Loans

For those interested in a better interest rate or more favorable loan terms you could consider refinancing your loans instead. The process works much in the same way, but unlike consolidation, refinancing can combine federal student loans and private loans, if you are still looking to make only one monthly payment.

Keep in mind that refinancing can result in the loss of some of the benefits for federal student loans under consolidation since you’re working with a private company and not the government. However, for someone looking for lower interest rates or lower monthly payments, refinancing is another option to consider.

The Takeaway

Considering the pros and cons of a Direct Consolidation Loan, such as lowering your monthly payments, can help you determine if it’s the right repayment strategy for you. But make sure to run the numbers and see if the lengthened payback period or new interest rate will result in paying more than you are comfortable with in the long run.

If the idea of consolidation appeals to you, but the weighted consolidation interest rate won’t save you much over the life of your loan, you could consider applying for student loan refinancing with companies like SoFi.

Get a quote to see what your new loan could look like in two minutes or less.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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Source: sofi.com

When Do Student Loans Start Accruing Interest?

Student loans — federal or private — begin accruing interest when they’re disbursed, and the borrower is responsible for paying the interest on all but subsidized federal student loans during grace periods or deferment.

The grace periods for each kind of student loan repayment are good to know. So are the various loan interest rates and what happens during any period of deferment or forbearance.

The Basics of Student Loan Interest

A student who takes out a student loan (or a parent who takes out a parent-student loan in their own name) signs a promissory note outlining all the terms of the loan, which include the loan amount, interest rate, disbursement date, and payment schedule.

Federal student loans issued after July 1, 2006, have a fixed rate. The repayment default is the standard 10-year plan, but there are options, such as income-based repayment or a Direct Consolidation Loan, that can draw out repayment to double that or more.

Private student loan interest rates may be fixed or variable, and are based on your — or your cosigner’s — financial history. The repayment term can be anywhere from five to 20 years.

With federal student loans and most private student loans, payments are deferred until after you graduate. Interest will have accrued, and in almost all cases you’re responsible for paying it.

Interest and Grace Periods by Loan

With the exception of subsidized federal student loans, any unpaid loan interest during grace periods will be capitalized, or added to the loan balance, when repayment begins. Capitalized interest on student loans can significantly increase how much a borrower owes.

Here are details about different kinds of student loans. Congress approves interest rates for Department of Education loans that span July 1 to June 30 the following year. These are the rates and loan fees (deducted from each disbursement) as of this writing.

Recommended: Types of Federal Student Loans

Unsubsidized Student Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students with no regard to financial need.

Rate and loan fee: 3.73% for undergraduates and 5.28% for graduate students, with a loan fee of 1.057%.

Grace period: While you’re in school at least half-time and for six months after graduation.

Subsidized Student Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduates with financial needs.

Rate and fee: 3.73%, with a loan fee of 1.057%.

Grace period: While you’re in school at least half-time and for six months after you leave school. The government pays the interest during those grace periods and during any deferment.

Direct PLUS Loans

Taken Out by a Parent

A Parent PLUS Loan acquired to help a dependent undergraduate is unsubsidized.

Rate and fee: 6.28%, with a loan fee of 4.228%. In the past decade, the rate for Direct PLUS Loans has been as high as 7.90%.

Some private lenders refinance Parent PLUS loans at what could be a lower rate.

Grace period: First payment is due within 60 days of final disbursement, but a parent can apply to defer payments while their child is in school at least half-time and for six months after.

Taken Out by a Graduate Student or Professional Student

Grad PLUS Loans are available to students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

Rate and fee: 6.28%, with a loan fee of 4.228%.

Grace period: Automatic deferment while in school and for six months after graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment.

Student loan refinancing could potentially
lower the interest your loans accrue.

Private Student Loans

Some banks, credit unions, state agencies, and online lenders offer private student loans.

Rate and fee: Rates can be fixed or variable, and rates and fees vary by lender

Grace period: Interest begins when a private student loan is disbursed, but payments may be deferred while a borrower is in school.

How Is Interest on Student Loans Calculated?

Student loans generate interest every day. Your annual percentage rate is divided by 365 days to determine a daily interest rate, and you are then charged interest each day on the total amount you owe.

That interest is added to your total balance, and you’re then charged interest on the new balance — paying interest on interest until the loans are paid off.

If you don’t know what your monthly payments will be, a student loan payment calculator can help. This one estimates how much you’ll be paying each month so you can better prepare for your upcoming bills.

The amount you pay each month will be the same, but the money first goes toward paying off interest and any fees you’ve been charged (like late fees); the remainder goes to pay down the principal of the loan.

As you pay down your loan, because the principal is decreasing, the amount of interest you’re accruing decreases. And so, over the life of your loan, less of your monthly payment will go toward interest and more will go toward the principal. This is known as amortization.

Interest Accrual During Deferment or Forbearance

If you can’t afford payments on federal student loans once they begin, deferment and forbearance may allow you to hit pause.

The big difference is that interest always accrues during forbearance (except in the case of Perkins Loans), while during deferment, interest on some types of loans usually does not accrue.

They are:

•   Direct Subsidized Loans

•   Perkins Loans

•   The subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans

•   The subsidized portion of Federal Family Education Loan Consolidation Loans

Some private student loan issuers offer deferment or forbearance for specific reasons. Any unpaid interest will likely accrue and be added to the principal after the payment pause.

How You Could Save on Interest

Because interest can add up so quickly, it’s important to pay attention to the interest rates you’re paying on your student loans.

Refinancing — taking out a brand-new loan that pays off your current loans — can lower the amount of interest your loans accrue if you qualify for a lower interest rate or a shorter term. To see how refinancing might save you money, take a look at this student loan refinance calculator.

Even a small difference in interest rates could help you save a substantial amount of money paid in total interest over the life of the loan, depending on the term you select.

It’s important to know, though, that refinancing federal student loans will make them ineligible for federal benefits like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

The Takeaway

When does student loan interest start accruing? The minute the loan is disbursed, and you’re usually responsible for paying it. It’s important for borrowers to understand and pay attention to capitalized interest.

Interested in seeing if you could get a lower rate or different term by refinancing? If so, look into SoFi refinancing.

There are no fees.

Check your rate and check out the perks of refinancing with SoFi.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Source: sofi.com

A Guide to Unclaimed Scholarships and Grants

Maybe you’ve heard that billions of dollars’ worth of scholarships and grants go unclaimed every year. Unfortunately, some money is, yes, left on the table each year, but billions in merit- and need-based aid are claimed.

Of the federal government’s annual budget of $32 billion for student grants, $2 billion is unclaimed, according to researchers at EducationData.org.

The beauty of scholarships and grants is that you almost never need to pay them back. Who doesn’t love gifts? But acquiring them will take at least a little effort.

Two Types of Aid to Lay Claim To

Financial aid can be need-based or merit-based.

Need-Based Aid

Federal need-based aid is determined by the expected family contribution, as calculated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

The Pell Grant, the Department of Education’s biggest grant program, is geared toward students who demonstrate significant financial need, but the total cost of attendance at a particular college also plays a role.

It doesn’t get much better than grants for college, like snagging a Pell Grant as high as $6,495 for the 2021-2022 award year.

It has been estimated that more than $2 billion in annual Pell Grant money goes unclaimed, but applying for the Pell is simple: by filling out the FAFSA®. In fact, schools must determine a student’s Pell Grant eligibility before calculating eligibility for other federal student aid programs, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Any student who could use even a little college financial aid has nothing to lose by filling out the FAFSA. And even if you are not eligible for federal aid, realize that most states and schools use FAFSA information to award non-federal aid.

FAFSA information will also determine whether a student qualifies for federal work-study, when undergraduate and graduate students with financial need are given part-time jobs.

Some private colleges and universities will also want students to fill out the CSS Profile, which determines eligibility for institutional awards and grants.

Merit Aid

Merit scholarships are awarded by colleges, employers, individuals, businesses, nonprofits, states, religious groups, and professional and social organizations to academic or athletic achievers, as most of us are aware, but merit aid also may be determined by community involvement; level of dedication to a field of study; race; gender; teacher recommendations; and other criteria.

The awards are not based on financial need.

The biggest source of “free money”? Colleges, according to a recent College Board Trends in Student Aid Report. Thanks to competition to attract students , nearly every college and university in the country offers merit-based aid in some form.

So it could be worth researching different schools’ merit aid offerings.

To sniff out unclaimed private scholarships like a truffle hunter, you could start by thinking about all the ways you have, well, merit; making lists of opportunities and eligibility criteria; and pursuing only the scholarships you’re best qualified for.

There are all kinds of scholarship search sites out there, from BigFuture to Unigo. (Be aware of sweepstakes on some sites that masquerade as scholarships.)

The Department of Education recommends the following tactics to find scholarships:

•   Talk to your high school counselor.

•   Use the Department of Labor’s scholarship search tool to sort more than 8,000 opportunities for student aid.

•   Inquire at the financial aid office at your college of choice.

•   See if your employer or your parents’ employers offer assistance.

•   Head to your local library’s reference section.

•   Look for scholarships offered by foundations, religious or community organizations, local businesses, or civic groups, as well as organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest.

Why Would Any Scholarships Go Unclaimed?

So is it true there are obscure scholarships left unclaimed? There is no database that can give precise answers, but it makes sense that when specific parameters exist around a particular scholarship, fewer students will qualify.

For example, scholarships exist for North Korean refugees who are permanently living in the United States. Applicants must have been born in North Korea or the child of someone born in North Korea.

Let’s say you don’t fit those parameters. Other unusual opportunities include the following:

•   If you dazzle your friends with your ability to make prom outfits using only duct tape, then you could win a $10,000 Stuck at Prom scholarship . Seriously.

•   Or maybe you have the best plan ever to survive the zombie apocalypse. If so, you could apply for the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship ($2,000).

•   If you live in the Phoenix area, you’re a tall graduating senior, and, if you’re a finalist, you’re game for being interviewed and measured for the chance to gain all of $250, you could stand up to the challenge of the CATS Tall Club program.

Keeping an Eye Out for Scholarship Scams

Plenty of scholarship and grant money is out there waiting to be claimed. Unfortunately, though, there are also financial aid scams , including scholarships that aren’t legitimate. The Department of Education offers tips to protect yourself, including:

•   Know that you don’t need to pay to find scholarships or any other form of financial aid.

•   Check information about scholarship offers at a public library and/or online.

•   Talk to the financial aid department at your college of choice to verify legitimacy.

Also, before students begin a search, they may want to be aware of “scholarships” that are actually sweepstakes because their information may be sold to third parties.

The Takeaway

Finding unclaimed scholarships and grants — free money — is the ideal way to fund college. To cover all costs, many students will then need to take out federal student loans, and some will turn to private student loans.

Although private student loans do not carry the benefits and protections of federal student loans, they can fill gaps when you’ve considered all of your federal grant and loan options but your expenses still exceed your means.

SoFi offers private student loans with competitive rates, flexible repayment options, and no fees.

It takes just three minutes to check your rate.


SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
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Source: sofi.com

Do You Have to Pay FAFSA Back?

If you’re wondering “do you have to pay back FAFSA® loans?,” what you really want to know is whether you have to pay back your federal student loans that you may be eligible for after filling out your FAFSA. In short, you will have to pay back loans you get through completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), but other types of student aid you get through FAFSA likely don’t need to be repaid.

Aside from federal student loans, you can also use FAFSA to apply for grants and scholarships as well as work-study jobs, for which you’d get funds you usually wouldn’t need to pay back. If you have loans through FAFSA and need to pay them back though, read on for information on the three general types of federal student loans and your repayment options.

Direct Subsidized Loans

With Direct Subsidized Loans, the government (more specifically, the U.S. Department of Education) pays the interest while you are still in school at least half-time. That’s what makes them “subsidized.”

The maximum amount you can borrow depends on whether you are a dependent or an independent student, as well as what year of school you are in. However, it is ultimately up to your school how much you are eligible to receive each academic year.

Not everybody qualifies for a subsidized loan. You have to be an undergraduate (not a graduate student) demonstrating financial need and attending a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Additionally, the academic program in which you are enrolled must lead to a degree or certificate.

You also should check how your school defines the term “half-time,” as the meaning can vary from school to school. Contact your student aid office to make sure your definition and your school’s match completely. The status is usually based on the number of hours and/or credits in which you are enrolled.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

You will have to pay back all the interest that accrues with Direct Unsubsidized Loans, because these loans are “unsubsidized.” That means the government doesn’t cover your interest while you’re in school like they do with a subsidized loan.

You do not have to prove a financial need in order to qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Additionally, these loans are available to graduate students as well as undergraduate students. Again, you need to be enrolled at least half-time in a school that will award a degree or certificate.

Direct PLUS Loans

There are two types of Direct PLUS Loans:

•   Grad PLUS Loans: These are for graduate or professional degree students

•   Parent PLUS Loans: Parent PLUS Loans can be taken out by parents for as long as their qualifying child is a dependent or undergraduate student

Unlike most other loans, PLUS loans require a credit check, and you cannot have an adverse credit history . If you or your parents have bad credit, a cosigner on the loan application may be an option.

With Direct PLUS Loans, you can borrow as much as you need (subtracting the other financial aid you’re getting). However, the interest rate for PLUS loans is generally higher than it is for the other types of federal student loans.

Do I Get a Grace Period on My Federal Student Loan Repayment?

Whether you get a grace period — time after you graduate (or drop below half-time enrollment) during which you do not have to make loan payments — depends on what type of federal student loan you have, as not all federal student loans offer one. Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans offer a grace period of six months, whereas Direct PLUS loans don’t offer a grace period at all.

Grace periods are meant to give you time to find a job and organize your finances before you have to start making loan payments. They are usually one-time deals; in most cases, you often can’t get a second grace period ​once the initial one ends.

Additionally, not all grace periods are exactly alike. Different loans may offer different grace periods. Policies vary. Check with your loan servicer so that you know for sure when your grace period begins and ends.

Keep in mind that grace periods are usually not interest-free. Some loans accrue interest during grace periods, which means that the interest will “capitalize,” or be added to the principal when the grace period ends. Many students subscribe to the strategy of making interest payments even during the grace period. Doing this can ultimately lower the amount you owe, and interest payments are generally more affordable to handle than principal payments.

Also remember that loan servicers are paid by the Department of Education to handle billing and other services for federal loans. The government gives you a loan servicer; you don’t get to choose one yourself. The loan servicer you get is the one you should contact if you have questions regarding your loan.

Federal Student Loan Standard Repayment Plan

Once you graduate, your repayment plan will depend on various factors, but most of the time the government will place you on its Standard Repayment Plan . The general rule here is that you’re expected to pay off your loan over the course of a decade, and your payments will remain the same for the duration.

Before you are placed on that Standard Repayment Plan, the government gives you a chance to choose a few other repayment options (which we’ll discuss below). If you don’t choose one of those, you’ll automatically be placed on the Standard Repayment Plan.

Additional Repayment Options

Here are a couple of your other repayment options beyond the Standard Repayment Plan:

•   The Extended Repayment Plan: The Extended Repayment Plan can extend your term from the standard 10 years to up to 25 years. To qualify, you must have at least $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans. As a result, your monthly payments are reduced, but you could be paying way more interest.

•   The Graduated Repayment Plan: Another option, the Graduated Repayment Plan lets you pay off your loan within 10 years, but instead of a fixed payment, your payments start low and increase over time. This may be a good option if your income is currently low but you expect it to increase over time.

Keep in mind that although you can choose these repayment options, you cannot refinance a federal student loan with the government on your own (you can, however, consolidate them). That’s because those interest rates are set by federal law , and they can’t be changed or renegotiated.

Difference Between Refinancing & Consolidating Student Loans

While you can’t refinance your federal loans with the government, you can do so with a private loan company. Before you consider refinancing, be sure to know the difference between refinancing and consolidating student loans:

•   Refinancing means taking out a brand new loan so that you can pay off your existing loans. To refinance, you’ll choose the loan company you feel is best, with (hopefully) better interest rates and repayment terms. Refinancing can be done via a private lender and can be used for both federal and private loans. Keep in mind that when you refinance federal loans with a private lender, you lose access to federal benefits and protections like loan forgiveness programs and repayment plans.

•   Consolidation means placing all of your current loans into one big loan. Doing this typically extends your loan term so that your monthly payment is lowered. The problem with consolidating student loans is that it could mean you wind up paying additional interest. This is because when you consolidate multiple federal student loans, you’re given a new, fixed interest rate that’s the weighted average of the rates from the loans being consolidated.

Refinancing (as opposed to consolidating) your school loans may be a good option if you have high-interest, unsubsidized Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and/or private loans. Refinancing your existing loans with a longer term can reduce your monthly payments. Alternatively, you may be able to lower your interest rate or shorten your term.

Before you apply for that refinancing plan, it’s a good idea to check your credit score, as it is an important factor that lenders consider. Many lenders require a score of 650 or higher. If yours falls below that, you may consider a cosigner on the loan.

Lenders typically offer fixed and variable interest rates, as well as a variety of repayment terms (which is often based on your credit score and many other personal financial factors). The loan you choose should ultimately help you save money over the life of the loan or make your monthly payments more manageable.

The Takeaway

If you only got grants, scholarships, or work-study funding through FAFSA, you don’t have to worry about paying FAFSA back, so to speak. But if you got federal student loans through filling out FAFSA, you will have to pay those loans back.

Luckily, you have a number of options to do so. If you have high-interest loans, consider looking into refinancing to see if you can reduce your monthly payments.

Whether you are looking to borrow for school or refinance your student loans, SoFi can help. See your interest rate in just a few minutes—with no pressure to sign up.


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SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
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Source: sofi.com

What Happens When Your Student Loans Go to Collections?

When a borrower stops making payments on student loans for a period of time, they could end up in default. And in some cases, lenders may send loans that are in default onto collections.

In general, it’s ideal to avoid defaulting on student loans and having them sent to collections in the first place. But if your student loans have already gone to collections, fear not — there are steps you can take.

Before we dive in, it’s important for you to know that this is an incredibly complex topic. We’re going to try to break it down the best we can, but full disclosure: this info is general in nature and does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs; it should not be considered advice. SoFi’s just trying to be real with you and recommend that you speak to a professional about your unique situation.

How Student Loans End up in Collections

Student loans don’t go away until you’ve paid them off. If you haven’t been paying off your student loans, your debt can go into default, because you are failing to fulfill your contractual obligation to repay your loan.

Americans owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt as of the second quarter of 2021. When you consider that the average student loan debt for the class of 2020 was over $29,900, it’s no surprise that some have trouble keeping up with it. In fact, an average of 15% of student loans are in default at any given time.

Delinquent Federal Student Loans

The first day after missing a payment on a federal student loan, the loan becomes delinquent. The loan will remain delinquent until the overdue balance is paid, or the borrower makes alternate arrangements such as applying for deferment or forbearance or switching their payment plan.

After 90 days of missing payments for federal student loans, the loan servicer will report the late payments to credit bureaus, which could negatively impact the borrower’s credit score.

Recommended: Defaulting on Student Loans: What You Should Know

Federal Student Loans in Default

For federal loans, you typically go into default after you haven’t paid your loan bill for nine months, or 270 days.

When in default, the entire balance of the loan comes due. But just because a loan is in default, doesn’t mean it automatically goes to a collections agency.

At this point, you may have the opportunity to make arrangements with your loan servicer. For example, your lender may help you tailor solutions that lower your monthly bill to make payments more manageable for you.

However, if you don’t come to an agreement, your lender can send your debt to a collections agency that will collect it for them.

Private Student Loans in Default

The timeframe may vary for private loans depending on the terms and conditions of the loan. Generally speaking, private student loans may go into default after 90 days ​of missed payments.

What Does It Mean to Have a Loan Sent to Collection?

Once your debt is sent to a collections agency, that agency will do everything they can to get you to pay. Unfortunately, on top of collecting the debt, collections agencies typically charge fees , for which you’ll also be responsible.

Once your debt is in collections, the collections agency might try to work out a repayment plan with you as a first step. If you continue to not pay, the agency can then take actions to recoup the money, such as trying to garnish your wages .

Garnishment means the agency can take a certain amount from each paycheck and apply it toward your debt. For federal student loans, lenders are not required to take the borrower to court before garnishing wages.

Once this happens, you no longer have control over that money. Whereas, if you’d come to an agreement earlier, you may have been able to make smaller payments each month.

Private student loans function differently. They are not subject to the same special regulation as federal student loans. Private lenders interested in garnishing wages must follow garnishment rules laid out for private debt. In this case, the lender is required to take the borrower to court and obtain a judgement in their favor before any wages can be garnished.

What Happens When Your Loans Go into Default and Collections?

Some other not-so-great things can happen when your loans go into default and collections.

First, if you have defaulted on federal student loans, you may lose access to various federal loan repayment plans and forbearance or deferment on federal loans. These programs are important tools designed to make it easier for you to pay off your loans. Loan forgiveness is offered to those who follow career paths in certain government, healthcare, and nonprofit sectors. Forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making student loan payments or reduce the amount you pay each month.

Recommended: Student Loan Deferment vs Forbearance: What’s The Difference?

Your credit score may take a hit as well. For both private and federal student loans in default, the lender or the collections agency will report the late payments to the three major credit bureaus, who might then lower your credit score.

A low credit score might cost you down the line, making it difficult to secure future loans at reasonable interest rates, should you want to buy a house or a car, for example. It may even mean you won’t qualify for a loan at all. Avoiding default might help you maintain these important financial tools.

How to Get Your Loans Out of Default

Of course, the best thing you can do to avoid default and collections is to pay your bills on time. But if you’ve defaulted, there may still be options for you to recover.

Options for Federal Student Loans

If you have federal student loans, you could try to rehabilitate your student loan in collections. Here’s how the program works — after you have made three consecutive on-time, voluntary, full payments on a defaulted loan, you can consolidate your federal loans.

The new direct loan pays off the old loans in full and consolidates them. Once you have made nine out of 10 consecutive, voluntary, on-time payments to this new loan, the loan may be rehabilitated and the default may be removed from your record. With a Direct Consolidation Loan, your eligible federal loans will be combined into one loan with a fixed interest rate — and the new rate will be the weighted average of the rates on the loans being consolidated (rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%).

Options for Private Student Loans

When it comes to private student loans, private lenders may or may not offer borrowers the opportunity to rehabilitate their loans. And, when it comes to private student loan rehabilitation there is not much federal legislation. Borrowers who have rehabilitated a private student loan may ask to have the default removed from their credit report, but there is no guarantee that it will be removed.

In some circumstances, the statute of limitations on debt may be a consideration for private student loan debt. This is a legal time frame in which a creditor is allowed to collect on debt and it is determined by state law. In the case that the statute of limitations on private student loan debt has been met, entering into a rehabilitation plan may restart the limitations period.

Additionally, it’s important to note that some lenders may charge off private student loans that are delinquent for 120 days, or a set period of time, which may vary from lender to lender. If a debt is charged off, the lender may not be willing to work with the borrower.

What to Do If Your Student Loan Goes to Collections

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having debt in collections, there might be steps you can take.

First, you could talk to your collections agency. It might seem scary, and it may be tempting to ignore their calls and letters, but doing so isn’t going to make them stop. Remember: collections agencies want you to pay. It’s in their best interest for you to ultimately pay back your loan. In many ways, this is a situation in which the ball is in your court.

When you talk to them, the collections agency might offer options tailored to your individual circumstances, such as whether you have a job and what your income is.

They might offer solutions such as allowing you to pay a discounted lump sum, or they might set up a low monthly payment plan if you don’t have a lot of income.

Having your loans in default or collections might have serious effects on your credit and your financial stability. If you’re afraid of defaulting on your loans, or if you already have, consider taking action as fast as you can. Taking control of the situation could help keep it from getting worse.

The Takeaway

In an ideal world, the best way to avoid going into student loan default in the first place is to make payments on time and in full — or, better yet not to take out student loans in the first place.

However, that’s not the world we live in. The cost of education is so high that many students who pursue a college degree will need a little bit of financial help along the way. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get in over your head with student loans.

If you’re reading this article about loans going into default or collections, you’re probably struggling to make your monthly payments. And that’s pretty scary. There are ways to make your monthly payments lower, such that you’re more confidently able to make them. If you have federal loans, looking into federal income-driven repayment plans may be a good idea.

If you have private and federal loans, you could also potentially consider refinancing your loans with a longer term. When you refinance your loans with a longer loan term, it will potentially cost you more in interest over the life of the loan. However, the (hopefully) lower monthly payments could help make ends easier to meet in the short term and keep you from worrying about imminent default.

Note that refinancing federal student loans eliminates them from federal borrower protections such as income-driven repayment plans or student loan deferment.

SoFi also offers a line of student loan and student loan refinancing programs, which could be an option. For those struggling with their income, it may be worth considering adding a cosigner with solid credit history and income, to possibly give you a better chance at approval. (Just keep in mind that a cosigner would be just as responsible for your monthly payments as you are.)

Learn more about whether SoFi student loan refinancing could be right for you.


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’swebsite .
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Source: sofi.com

Understanding Parent PLUS Loan Repayment Options

If you took out loans to help fund your child’s education, such as Parent PLUS Loans from the federal government, you’re eventually going to have to start paying them back. Parent PLUS loans can’t be transferred to your child — even once they graduate and get a steady job — so you’re the one who’s on the hook for paying them off in full. That prospect can be daunting, since this may be your largest chunk of debt outside of a mortgage.

But you have lots of options for temporarily putting off payments on Parent PLUS Loans or making them affordable. The choices can get overwhelming, so here’s a guide to help you figure out which plan is right for you.

Starting Repayments — and Pausing Them if You Need To

Unlike some other federal loans, Parent PLUS Loans do not have a grace period — a six-month break after the student graduates, or drops below half-time enrollment, before payments are due. Instead, their repayment period typically begins once the loan is fully disbursed.

The idea behind the delay with other loans is that it gives your child a chance to get settled financially. The federal government assumes you, as a parent, don’t need the same accommodation.

If you’re not ready to start paying, you have a couple of options for pausing repayment on your Parent PLUS Loan:

1.    Apply for deferment: One option is to apply for a deferment , which will allow you to temporarily stop monthly payments. You can ask for a deferment while your child is still in school at least half-time, or for six months after they graduate or drop to a lower level of enrollment.

   Keep in mind that interest will still be piling up, even if you’re not making payments. If you don’t pay the interest during this period, it will be capitalized, or added to the loan principal, when the deferment is over, which can increase how much you owe over the life of the loan.

2.    Request a forbearance: If the circumstances above don’t apply, you can still temporarily stop or reduce what you owe by requesting a forbearance . You may be eligible for forbearance if you’re unable to pay because of financial hardship, medical bills, or a change in your employment situation.

   You may also qualify for a forbearance if you’re in a medical or dental internship or residency, if you’re in certain teaching jobs, or if you pay 20% or more of your gross income toward the loan. Interest will still capitalize during this period, but if you’re going through a temporary financial difficulty, it may be worth approaching your loan servicer for a forbearance rather than risking missed payments.

Parent PLUS Loan Repayment Options

You can’t put off payments forever. Depending on the plan you choose, you will have between 10 and 25 years to pay off the loan in full. But Parent PLUS loan repayment doesn’t have to be daunting — here are a few of the Parent PLUS Loan repayment options you have:

•   Standard Repayment Plan: One of the most straightforward options is the Standard Repayment Plan . In this scenario, you will pay the same fixed amount each month and pay the loan in full within a decade. The benefit is that you always know how much you owe and you’ll accrue less interest than with most other plans, since you’ll be repaying the loan in a faster time frame.

   The difficulty is that this results in monthly payments that are too high for some people. It’s a good option if you can afford the payments and you don’t expect your situation to change in the next ten years.

•   Graduated Repayment Plan: Another option is the Graduated Repayment Plan . You will also pay off your loan within a decade, but the payments will start out smaller and then increase, usually every two years. You’ll pay more overall than under the previous plan because you’ll accrue more interest, but less than if you were to sign on for a longer repayment term. This plan is a good option if you expect to earn more in the relatively near future.

•   Extended Repayment Plan: A third choice is the Extended Repayment Plan , which spreads payments out over 25 years. You can either pay the same amount every month, or have payments start out lower and ramp up over time. You’ll end up paying more over the life of the loan because you’ll be racking up interest over a longer time period. But it’s a good way to make monthly payments more affordable while knowing you are on track to pay off the loan in full.

Loan Forgiveness for Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS borrowers don’t have as many opportunities as students do for getting a portion of the loan forgiven. There are no income-driven repayment plans for Parent PLUS loans, even though the government offers four such plans for students.

That being said, you do have a couple of options:

•   Income-Contingent Repayment Plan: You do have one option for tying payments to your income, but you have to jump through one hoop first — you would need to consolidate your Direct PLUS loan (or loans) into a Direct Consolidation Loan through the federal government. This combines your existing loans into one and may change your monthly payment, interest rate, or the amount of time in which you have to repay the loan. Just note that Direct PLUS Loans received by parents to help pay for a dependent student’s education cannot be consolidated together with federal student loans that the student received.

   Once you consolidate, you may be eligible for the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan . Under that plan, your monthly payment would be no more than 20% of your discretionary income. If you make the monthly payment for 25 years, the remaining balance will be wiped away, though you may owe taxes on it. This can be a good option for making your payments affordable if you expect your income to remain relatively low for the foreseeable future.

•   Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Another way you might be able to get your loans forgiven is by signing up for Public Service Loan Forgiveness . You might qualify if you work in a public service job, including for a government organization, nonprofit, police department, library, or early childhood education center. Note that you are the one who has to work in this field, and not the student.

   Make sure you submit an Employment Certification Form every year or when you switch jobs. To qualify, you also need to take out a Direct Consolidation Loan and then start repayment under the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan. If you work in public service, this can be a very effective way to get the loan off your back within a decade.

Considering Student Loan Refinancing

If you’re looking for another way to tackle your Parent PLUS loan, consider refinancing your parent plus loans with a private lender. This involves taking out a new loan and using it to repay your old one.

The benefit of refinancing is that you may qualify for a lower interest rate or a lower monthly payment, especially if you have a solid credit and employment history. However, when you refinance federal loans with a private lender, you will lose eligibility for any federal repayment plans or loan forgiveness programs.

You can get a preliminary quote online in just a few minutes to see whether refinancing makes sense for you.

The Takeaway

By taking out a Parent PLUS loan, you are generously supporting your child to achieve their dreams of a higher education and a solid career — but that doesn’t mean that loan payments need to become a burden for you. If you learn about your options for reducing or managing payments, you’ll be on track to paying off your loan with peace of mind.

One such option you might consider is refinancing your Parent PLUS Loan, which could help you secure a lower interest rate or monthly payment.

Ready to tackle your Parent PLUS Loan? Look into whether refinancing with SoFi can help you get a better deal.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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Source: sofi.com

How Does Student Loan Deferment in Grad School Work?

No matter how good a graduate or professional school’s potential return on investment is, climbing that mountain requires careful consideration so that you don’t end up with a heavier student debt burden than you planned for.

That means not only having a plan for graduate school loans but knowing what to do with any existing undergraduate student loans.

Deferring payments may bring temporary relief while pursuing a graduate degree, but loan refinancing or an income-driven repayment plan could bring longer-term help.

Deferment vs. Forbearance

Graduation from undergrad or graduate school is followed by a payment grace period of six months for most federal student loans. But if you hit a snag at some point and can’t afford payments, both deferment and forbearance are designed to allow you to apply to postpone payments.

The main difference: Interest accrues on only some federal student loans during deferment, whereas it accrues on nearly all in forbearance.

Any unpaid interest is capitalized, or added to your loan balance, at the end of the payment pause, increasing the total amount you end up repaying.

Deferment, for up to 12 months at a time, for a maximum of 36 months, may be a better choice than forbearance if:

•   You have subsidized federal student loans and

•   You’re dealing with substantial financial hardship

If you don’t qualify for deferment and your financial hardship is temporary, forbearance is an option.

If you have private student loans, many lenders will allow you to apply for a payment pause during hardship, too, though the terms and fees may be less borrower-friendly than is the case with federal student loans.

Do I Qualify to Defer My Payments?

For federal student loans, you’ll need to submit a request to your student loan servicer, usually with documentation to show that you meet the eligibility requirements for the deferment. For private student loans, you’ll need to check the rules directly with the lender.

A variety of circumstances may qualify you for deferment. Here are several.

Economic Hardship Deferment

You:

•   Are receiving a means-tested benefit, like welfare

•   Work full-time but have earnings that are below 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state

•   Are serving in the Peace Corps

Unemployment Deferment

You receive unemployment benefits or you are unable to find full-time employment.

Graduate Fellowship Deferment

You’re enrolled in a graduate fellowship program that provides financial support while you pursue graduate studies and research.

Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment

You are on active duty military service in connection with a war, military operation, or national emergency; or you’ve completed active duty service and any grace period.

Rehabilitation Training Deferment

You’re enrolled in an approved program that provides mental health, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or vocational rehab.

Cancer Treatment Deferment

You may qualify for deferment while undergoing cancer treatment and for six months afterward.

When Interest Accrues in Deferment

If you’re looking into deferment, you’ll want to check how interest would be handled during the payment pause and whether, if unpaid interest is capitalized, you’re prepared to take on a higher overall cost of the loan.

During deferment, you are generally not responsible for paying interest on:

•   Direct Subsidized Loans

•   Federal Perkins Loans

•   The subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans

•   The subsidized portion of Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Consolidation Loans

With deferment, you are generally responsible for paying interest on:

•   Direct Unsubsidized Loans

•   Direct PLUS Loans

•   FFEL PLUS Loans

•   The unsubsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans

•   The unsubsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans

•   Private student loans (if the lender allows deferment)

If you’re starting graduate or professional school or are in the thick of it, your federal borrowing options are Direct PLUS Loans (commonly called grad PLUS Loans when borrowers are graduate students) and Direct Unsubsidized Loans (also available to undergrads).

As noted above, those loan types accrue interest during a deferment.

Direct loans for graduate students currently carry a 5.28% rate (the rates are set by federal law for each academic year), with a loan fee of 1.057%.

For new graduate PLUS loans, the rate is currently 6.28%, with a loan fee of 4.228%.

Nongovernment lenders may offer private graduate student loans, sometimes with a fixed or variable rate and no loan fee.

Something to chew on: If you pursue deferment on loans in the second category above to manage costs while in grad school, it’s a good idea to at least consider making interest-only payments during the deferment.

Options to Deferment in Grad School

There are at least two other ways, beyond forbearance, to get a handle on student loan payments in grad school.

Income-Driven Repayment

Some graduate students who have federal student loans might want to consider switching, even temporarily, to an income-based repayment plan.

Your monthly payment would be tied to family size and income, which may be low for a graduate student enrolled full time.

The four income-driven repayment plans stretch payments over 20 or 25 years, after which any remaining balance is supposed to be forgiven. After graduation, you could switch the student loan repayment plan back to the standard 10-year plan.

Though borrowers often pay less each month using one of these plans, they’ll generally pay significantly more in total interest over the duration of the drawn-out loan.

In fact, under all of the income-driven repayment plans, your monthly payment may sometimes be less than the amount to cover interest on your loans. That’s called negative amortization; the unpaid interest gets added to the amount you borrowed, and the amount you owe increases.

A little good news: Any student debt that was forgiven used to be taxed as ordinary income, but the 2021 COVID relief package put a stop to that, at least through 2025.

Refinancing

Another way to potentially lower your monthly payments without deferring your loans (and accruing interest) is by refinancing your student loans (different from consolidating federal student loans with a Direct Consolidation Loan, when the rate is determined by the weighted average of the loans, rounded up a hair).

With refinancing, a private lender pays off your loans (both federal and private) with one new loan, ideally with a lower interest rate.

A decrease in an interest rate while maintaining the loan’s duration is a compelling way to both save money each month and over the life of the loan. To understand how a change of even 1% can affect how much interest you’ll pay on a loan over time, you might want to play around with this calculator.

If you refinance federal student loans, it is important to understand that you will lose access to federal programs such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness as well as future benefits applicable to federally held loans.

Private lenders may or may not have a deferment option.

Lenders that offer student loan refinancing typically require a good credit history and a steady income, among other factors.

The Takeaway

Student loan deferment before or during grad school could bring temporary relief. It could also add unpaid interest to loans and create a bigger balance to pay off. Those looking to manage payments long term may want to look into alternatives.

One is student loan refinancing. SoFi offers low fixed and variable rates and flexible terms when refinancing private or federal student loans.

And as a SoFi member, you’ll have access to a professional-grade list of benefits.

It takes only minutes to see what interest rate you may qualify for.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SLR18208

Source: sofi.com

Applying for a Student Loan Without a Cosigner

Most federal student loans do not require a credit check and can be borrowed without a cosigner. While the vast majority of students who take out private loans have a cosigner to guarantee the loan, that’s not an option for everyone. A cosigner — generally a family member or close friend — is someone who guarantees they will pay back your student loan if, for some reason, you can’t.

If you don’t have enough established credit to qualify for a private student loan on your own, turning to a cosigner, if possible, may also help you get approved at a better interest rate. However, not everyone has someone to cosign their student loans, and that’s okay too. There are plenty of ways to potentially qualify for both private and federal student loans without a cosigner.

Purpose of a Cosigner

Typically, a cosigner is someone with a solid credit history, who could step in if something goes wrong with your payments, but who trusts you to pay back the loan.

Cosigners provide reassurance to lenders when a borrower alone may not have a strong enough credit history to qualify for a loan. Because a cosigner agrees to pay for the loan if the primary borrower is unable to, lenders may be more willing to offer a loan.

Some borrowers may need a cosigner to qualify for a private student loan, because a cosigner with more financial security or a better credit history can make you a stronger applicant in the eyes of the lender. If you don’t have enough established credit to qualify for a loan on your own, turning to a cosigner, if possible, can also help you get approved at a better interest rate.

Applying for a Student Loan Without a Cosigner

With the average cost of undergrad at $38,185 a year for a private education for the 2021-2022 school year, it’s no surprise that many students will take out student loans to pay for their education. These student loans come in all shapes and sizes: federal or private, subsidized or unsubsidized, cosigned or not. Read on for information on getting a student loan without a cosigner.

Can You Get a Federal Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

Yes, it’s possible to get a federal student loan without a cosigner. For the most part, federal student loans do not require a credit check and can be borrowed directly by students, even if they do not have an established credit history. Direct PLUS Loans, which are primarily offered to parents, or graduate or professional students, require a credit check.

The first step in qualifying for a federal financial aid package is to fill out the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you are a dependent student, the form will also require you to submit your parent’s financial information. Depending on your financial need, you’ll then be offered a combination of
federal student loans — including subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans or PLUS Loans — work-study programs, scholarships, and grants.

Keep in mind that there are borrowing limits for federal student loans. For example, dependent students cannot take out more than $5,500 as a first-year undergrad. And, no more than $3,500 of that money can be in subsidized loans. For more information on loan limits, check here .

Can You Get a Private Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

Even with federal loans, grants, and scholarships, some students rely on private student loans to help them pay for college. In general, private student loans are considered only after all other financing options have been reviewed. This is because they don’t always offer the same borrower protections afforded to federal student loans — things like income-driven repayment plans or forgiveness programs.

To qualify for a private student loan, you generally have to be 18, a U.S. resident, and enrolled in school at least part time. Additionally, certain lenders may only approve loans if you are enrolled at schools that meet their criteria, which can vary from lender to lender.

Recommended: A Guide to Private Student Loans

You may also have to meet certain credit requirements (typically, a certain minimum credit score and length of credit history). If you don’t meet their credit requirements, most private loans require a cosigner. Those loans that are offered without a cosigner — and they do exist — often have higher interest rates. And unfortunately, the private loans offered to students with no cosigner typically come with specific qualifications.

For example, they could only be available for U.S. citizens or residents, or for older college students or graduate students. It truly depends on the lender. Private lenders and banks look at many factors, including credit history, to determine eligibility for a loan.

Establishing Credit

One option, if you know you’re going to need a student loan without a cosigner, is to start building credit as early as you can. If you’re over 21, you could consider applying for a low-limit credit card. (The Credit Card Act of 2009 limits your ability to get a credit card without an income.)

The advantage of a low-limit credit card is it can help keep you from going overboard on spending, while still allowing you to establish credit. If you pay your statement balance in full at the end of each billing cycle, you can potentially build credit up over time.

Does Having a Cosigner Impact Interest Rates?

Federal interest rates are set by Congress, the current rates for loans disbursed for the 2021-2022 school year are: 3.73% for undergraduate Direct subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, 5.28% for unsubsidized Direct Loans for graduate or professional students, and 6.28% for PLUS Loans. These interest rates are fixed, meaning they won’t change for the life of the loan.

Private student loans without a cosigner can give you the flexibility to pay for school and additional school-related expenses like books. While a cosigner can help bring down the interest rate you qualify for, it also means the cosigner’s credit is impacted by this new loan, which could be a concern for your potential cosigner. If the loan is only in your name, you’ll also be able to build your own credit history once you start making payments.

Why It Can Help to Have a Cosigner on a Private Student Loan

Federal loans are one way to apply for student loans without a cosigner, since most simply do not require a cosigner at all. However, there are limits on how much you can borrow, as we mentioned above.

The downside of not having a cosigner for your private student loan is you might pay more in fees and/or interest. That is definitely something to consider when deciding if you are going to apply for a private student loan with or without a cosigner.

Other Ways to Help Finance Your Education

Besides taking out federal student loans or private student loans without a cosigner, there are a few other options to help finance your education. There are many grants and scholarships available that you can apply for that you do not need to repay.

However, there may be certain eligibility requirements you need to meet in order to receive this “free money.” For example, there are scholarships for residents of certain states, or scholarships for certain majors.

Additionally, there are merit-based grants (grants available for students who reach a certain level of academic excellence) or need-based grants. The options are almost limitless for the grants and scholarships available. You can always search online or ask your school counselor for information on scholarships you can apply to and additional grants you may be eligible for.

The Takeaway

Applying for a private student loan with a cosigner can help a potential borrower secure a more competitive interest rate or preferable loan terms. This is because the cosigner provides additional security for the lender — if the primary borrower runs into any issues repaying the loan, the cosigner is responsible.

Federal student loans, aside from Direct PLUS loans, do not require a credit check or cosigner. If you find that your federal loans aren’t going to cover your education, a private student loan may help. Keep in mind that private student loans lack the borrower protections offered by federal student loans and are generally borrowed as a last resort option because of this.

If you’re interested in a private student loan, consider SoFi, where there are origination fees or late fees. The application process can be completed entirely online — with or without a cosigner. And when it’s time to repay your loans, SoFi offers flexible payment options that fit your post-grad lifestyle.

Learn more about SoFi’s private student loan offering.


SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Source: sofi.com

Strategies to Pay Back Federal Student Loans

The prospect of paying back your student loans may seem daunting, but there are strategies you can take to pay off your federal student loan debt. This includes choosing from the number of repayment plan options available or opting to refinance your student loans. Of course, before you start making payments, you’ll want to know when you need to pay off your loans — and how — so you can determine an appropriate plan of action.

Read on for a full explanation of the strategies that could help you when it comes time to start paying back federal student loans.

When Do You Have To Pay Back Federal Student Loans?

Before you start worrying about how to pay off your federal student loans, you should know when you have to pay them back. If you just graduated or left school, you may have some time before you’re required to start paying back your student loans.

New grads generally have a grace period of six months before they are required to start throwing their hard-earned cash at their federal student loans. The exact length of the grace period depends on the type of loan and your specific circumstances.

Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans all have a six-month grace period. This means that if you graduate in the spring, you may not need to make federal student loan payments until around October, depending on the date you graduate. If you’re a winter grad, you can expect to start repayment around June.

Unfortunately for graduate students, Direct PLUS Loans don’t have a grace period, which means that you’re on the hook for making payments 60 days after your final loan disbursement (though you may be able to get a six-month deferment). You may also lose your grace period if you consolidate your federal student loans with the government during your grace period. One caveat — if you’re a member of the armed forces on active duty, you may be eligible to extend your grace period during a deployment.

Private student loans are a different story, as these are loans from private lenders that set their own terms when it comes to loan grace periods. This means that private student loans may not offer a grace period at all, or that it may be shorter or longer than the federal student loan grace period.

How Do I Pay Back My Federal Student Loans?

Even though you may not be required to start paying off your student loans while they’re in a grace period, you might want to think about starting payments early.

Why start making payments before they’re due? During a grace period, some loans may still be accruing interest. That means that every month you wait to start making payments is another month that the total loan amount grows larger. Starting loan payback as soon as possible may help save on those capitalizing interest costs.

Figuring out how to pay federal student loans can be confusing. Paying back federal student loans starts with getting to know your loan servicer. There are several different loan servicers throughout the country who are responsible for managing federal student loans. Luckily, most loan servicers have robust websites where you can manage your student loan payments.

Your loan servicer’s website should allow you to view your loans, choose a payment plan, and set up automatic payments. Generally, you can make payments directly through the website, which means that you can avoid having to write out a check and worrying that it will get lost in the mail on the way to your loan service provider.

Choosing a Loan Repayment Plan

One integral loan repayment strategy is choosing a student loan repayment plan. If you are paying off federal loans, you may be able to choose between a few different repayment plans depending on which best fits your financial situation, such as:

The Standard Repayment plan: The Standard Repayment plan is the default loan repayment plan for federal student loans. Under the Standard plan, you pay a fixed amount every month for up to ten years in order to pay off the full balance of your loan.

The Extended Repayment plan: Extended Repayment plans work similarly to the Standard Repayment plan, but the term of the loan is longer. Extended Repayment plans generally have terms up to 25 years. The longer term allows for lower monthly payments, but you may end up paying more over the life of your loan thanks to additional interest charges.

For qualified applicants, there are also loan repayment options that are tied to the amount of your discretionary income. With income-driven repayment plans , the amount you owe on your student loans is tied to the amount of money you make. Income-based repayment plans are generally capped at 20 or 25 years, and any remaining balance on your loan may be forgiven after that term.

While you’ll automatically be put onto the Standard Repayment Plan if you do nothing else, you may want to consider choosing a different repayment plan depending on your financial situation. For example, if you’re itching to pay off your student loans as soon as possible, the Standard Repayment plan may work for you, but if you’re worried about affording loan payments, you may decide that you’re more comfortable with an income-driven repayment plan.

Refinancing Student Loans

Another strategy you may consider for paying back federal student loans is student loan refinancing. For some grads, loan refinancing may help save money over the term of your loan.

What are the benefits of refinancing with a private lender instead of just paying off the federal loans you currently owe? Student loan refinancing combines all of your current federal and private student loans into one new loan from a private lender, hopefully with better terms.

This means that you may be able to snag a lower monthly payment or even a shorter repayment term, both of which could save some serious cash over the life of your loan — depending on the term you choose, of course.

There are downsides to refinancing though. If you refinance your federal loans, they will no longer be eligible for any federal repayment assistance, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program or any federal repayment plan. You also won’t be eligible anymore for federal repayment protections and will lose any remaining grace periods.

The Takeaway

As you can see, you have a number of options for paying back your federal student loans. You will want to consider your financial situation and which options you’re eligible for in order to choose the repayment plan that makes the most sense for you.

If loan repayment plans don’t seem like the right path for you, refinancing your student loans could be an option worth exploring.

Finding the right strategy to pay off your student loans can help you take control of your finances. See if refinancing with SoFi is right for you.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

SOSL19056

Source: sofi.com