What repayment plan am I in? Federal student loan borrowers can choose from different repayment plans depending on their financial situation. If you want to pay your loans off quickly, choose the Standard Repayment Plan. Or, if you need a payment amount that fits your budget, look into an income-driven repayment plan. Ask your servicer which repayment plan you’re in, and then decide if you need to switch plans to meet your goals better.
When do I need to recertify my income and family size? The student loan recertification deadline for all borrowers in an income-driven repayment plan is next summer, according to an update from the Education Department. But if your income will increase, you may want to submit your recertification now while you’re earning less. That will keep your payments low and give you time to catch up on other bills. Read more about
What’s the amount of my first payment, and when is it due? Once the pause ends Dec. 31, 2022, you should get a billing statement at least three weeks before the first payment is due. If you haven’t changed repayment plans, your due date should be the same as before the pause. But your payment amount may be different. If you can’t afford it, look into payment options based on your income. Read more about how to calculate discretionary income for student loan payment.
What’s my account number? You need your student loan account number to get a tax credit from the IRS or refinance the loans with a private lender. If you have different types of loans with the same servicer, you may have more than one account number with that company.
What’s my interest rate? The average interest rate for all student loan borrowers is 5.8%. But the interest rate for your loans may be higher or lower depending on when you went to school and what type of loans you borrowed.
There’s no way to lower your interest rate with the Education Department. Consolidation won’t help. It uses the weighted average of all the loans included in the consolidation application. The only way to lower your interest rate is to refinance with a private lender.
Now may be the right time to refinance your student loan depending on your credit score. But if you do that, you’ll lose access to federal benefits like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans. Read more about why are student loan rates so high.
How many months of credit have I accumulated toward loan forgiveness? If you work in public service or are making payments under an IDR plan, you earn credit towards student loan forgiveness for each monthly payment you make. Your servicer is tasked with tracking your progress and contacting you once you’re close to making the last few payments needed for forgiveness. Read more about how to get rid of student loan debt legally.
How can I lower the payment for Parent PLUS Loans? The best way to lower payments for Parent PLUS Loans is to switch to the income-contingent repayment plan. The ICR Plan caps payments at 20% of your discretionary income and forgives your remaining loan balance after 25 years of payments.
And here’s the best thing about that plan: it typically doesn’t count Social Security benefits as taxable income, which means your monthly payment could be zero — even if your loan balance is high. Read more about Parent PLUS student loan forgiveness options and how to Payoff Parent PLUS Loans quickly.