Q: I have two sets of student loans. One set are consolidated stafford loans for a total of about 55K at 4.125% interest. The second set are private loans for a total of about 47K which are at 4 and 5% interest. My monthly payments work out to about $800 per month. My annual salary is just over 40K. Needless to say, its very difficult (actually impossible) to do any saving whatsoever. Can you recommend a way that I can lower my monthly payments? I called my lender and they were no help at all (surprise surprise).
A: What were you thinking when you took out over $100,000 in student loans? How were you planning to pay them back when you took the money? What happened to that plan of action? Try calling the student loan corporation. I recall the number being something like 1-800-2-college. They have an option to consolidate your loans, and the interest rate is less than what you are paying. The only gotcha is that you can only consolidate once, and it sounds like you have already used this option. It is still worth a try. Other than that, you don't have a loan problem...you have an income problem. You need to get your income up to about double what you are making if you want to do more than just survive from paycheck to paycheck. Realistically, you are looking at 25 to 30 years of loan payments at $800 per month. I doubt that you will even be able to buy a house with 1/3 of your take home pay going to student loans. I also think that bankruptcy is not an option here since student loans no longer go away with bankruptcy. If I am wrong on this, then that might be the best option. Otherwise, I'd think about chucking things and moving to Mexico or somewhere else where the loan will not follow you.