Student loans are now the second largest source of debt in America after mortgages, and they’re an infinite source of financial stress for the borrowers who hold them. But there are better ways to pay back what your student loan debt if you know where to look.

The range of options below can be tailored to your financial needs and goals. Which option or options you use really depends on:

  1. Your income level and budget
  2. The types of student debt you hold
  3. The status of the loans (i.e. are they in default)
  4. Your elimination goals, such as low payments or fast payoff
  5. Your credit score

In many cases, your repayment plan may require a combination of solutions to craft the right strategy for your needs. If you need help creating a plan that works for your budget and goals, complete the application so we can match you with the right service providers for your needs.

Spectrum of Solutions

Can you use a federal direct consolidation loan?

Federal Direct Consolidation Loan

This is a loan used to consolidate federal student loan debt as long as you have one Direct or FFEL loan in the loans you currently hold. It can be used to quickly bring defaulted debt current, which makes you eligible for other solutions, such as Federal Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

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Explore federal and private student lon debt repayment plans

Federal Repayment Plans

There are a range of Federal Repayment Plans that you can use to improve the repayment plan on your debt. Some programs are designed to pay off debt fast to minimize interest charges so you can move forward faster. Other plans are designed to provide low monthly payments that are matched to your income and family size. These options make student loan debt easier to manage in your budget.

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Explore Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Borrowers who enroll in any hardship-based Federal Repayment Plan and also work in a public service sector, such as teaching or nursing, are eligible for loan forgiveness after ten years of payments. Remaining loan balances are forgiven without penalties. This means you can use repayment plans that provide lower payments and still get out of debt in a reasonable amount of time.

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Explore private student loan consolidation

Private Student Debt Consolidation Loans

You take out a consolidation loan through a private financial institution. The funds are disbursed to pay off your original loans, leaving only the consolidation loan to repay. This can be used to consolidate private and federal student loan debt. However, converting federal debt to private makes you ineligible for Federal Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. That’s why this option is often better to use solely on private student loan debt.

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Explore private student loan settlement options

Private Student Loan Settlement

This option generally only works for private student loan debt that’s heavily defaulted. You settle your debts for less than the full amount owed. Each debt settled in this way creates a negative item in your credit report so the damage to your credit can be significant. Settlement requires negotiation and lender acceptance is not guaranteed so result may vary.

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This website is intended for informational purposes and as a reference tool to match consumers with companies that may be able to assist them. Additional Advertising Disclosures are here

DISCLAIMER: Debt.com does not provide direct debt adjustment services, but, upon request, acts as a locator service for BBB registered companies. It is ultimately up to you to determine whether the companies that we may introduce you to are appropriate for your situation. All federal student borrowers are able to--and encouraged to--learn about, and apply for, any federal re-payment and forgiveness programs through the US Department of Education and other sources for free without paying fees to any person, company, or counselor. Nothing on this site constitutes ANY official qualification or ANY guarantee of result. All telephone numbers listed may connect to private companies offering fee-based services to assist with application preparation for federal and other loan programs.

Please note: Only the US Department of Education can provide determination of eligibility and exact payment amount for any government forgiveness or repayment program listed on this website. Also, you may apply for all forgiveness and re-payment programs may be applied to for free without paying anyone for assistance through the US Department of Education. Our calculators, estimators and eligibility tools are strictly to help consumers understand potential options estimate potential payments and do not provide any guarantee of enrollment, qualification, or payment amount for ANY programs.

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