3 Untrue Student Loan Rumors
There was an unfortunate scam in Florida that is now shut down by the state and Federal Trade Commission.
The hardest part of repaying your student loan debt is keeping all the information straight. There confusing terms and different types of repayment options. It has become so muddied that there are myths surrounding student loans. These are the top three myths that are completely false.
1. If you have lots of loans, consolidation is always a good idea
This may seem pretty good on the surface but it’s just not always true. You can use consolidation to simplify your payments to one servicer if you have more than one and to one payment date instead of many. Recent graduates don’t often have loans with more than one servicer anymore so it’s often time not necessary to consolidate for that reason.
Federal Student Loan Consolidation is mostly used now if you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or an income-driven repayment plan. Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) need to be consolidated into federal direct loans to qualify for those programs.
If you have several types of federal loans it is cheaper to exclude your direct loans from consolidation because the new loan’s interest rate will be the average rate rounded up to the nearest 0.8%. In addition, your loan term will be extended if you owe more than $7,500. So, if you have started some income-driven repayment plan or public service loan forgiveness plan payments they will reset with a consolidation.
2. You can only get student loan forgiveness through the Public Service program
A lot of people thing that you can only get loan forgiveness through Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This is false. You can also enroll into income-driven repayment plans. Income-driven repayment plans are available for all federal loan borrowers. When you enroll in one of those plans, your monthly payment amount is tied to your income. At the end of the term, 20 or 25 years, forgiveness will apply to your remaining loan balance.
3. Paying off your student loans should be your top priority
It is important to pay off all your debts. If you hold more debt than just student loans it may be more important to pay those off first. Usually, credit cards and personal loans carry higher interest rates than student loans. If you get behind on your student loans because of your other debts, you can always submit a forbearance to put a temporary stop on your loans. Or look into income-driven repayment plans to reduce your monthly payments so you can make payments on all of your loans
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