You guys! I feel like I’ve done the impossible!! After YEARS I finally figured out how to get our student loan interest rates lowered –AND YOU CAN TOO!
I have contacted our student loan companies many times, asking if there was any way to lower our rates, and I was always given the same exact line: “If you set up automatic withdrawal, we can lower it by 0.25%” LAME!
Well last week I called AGAIN seeing if there was any other options, and the customer service representative either
- Took pity on me and FINALLY gave me the info I needed in order to get them lowered, OR
- Read my file and just gave up on giving me the 0.25% line, because he knew I would not stop calling!
Either way, I am here to tell you how you can get your Student Loan Interest Rates Lowered too!
BUT- before I do that, I am going to give you some actual figures of our financial picture. With Scott graduating just last year from Grad School with his executive MBA, we have a combined student loan debt that is closer to 200,000 than it is 100,000! And by combined I mean I can only claim 5,000 of that student loan debt. $20,000 is from Scott’s Undergrad degree, and the rest is just his Graduate degree. : /
Our interest rates varied from 2.5% all the way to 9.75%!!!!! THAT IS INSANE. But at the time the loan was given, that was his only option.
Now that we are paying back the loans our student loan payments are:
- $400.00 MORE a month than our mortgage payment!
- They equal 35% of our take home pay
- IF we paid the minimum payments it would take over 26 years to pay them off
So yeah- when I look at those facts / figures I get physically ill! But I was able to get the rates lowered to 3%, which is a huge savings, and will allow us the ability to put more down on the principle balance. Based on our new budget and our financial planwe will have them fully paid off within 6 years!
6 years still seems like a long time, but it is way better than 26 years. Plus that does not take into account any raises, tax returns, etc. which will be applied to this payoff plan.
So here we go!
How to get your student loan interest rates lowered
Gather ALL of your financial numbers.
Take a deep breath and call your student loan company. A customer service representative will pick up (at some point). Ask to be transferred to the Collections Department.
Also- You probably wont get transferred there the first time you ask. When the next representative picks up – Ask if you are speaking to someone in the Collections Department. When they say no ask *NICELY* to be transferred again…then repeat, until you finally get there.
No, you DO NOT have to be behind on your payments for this. *We were not behind on any payments.*
Once you reach the Collections Department ask them if they would be willing to take at look at your Income VS. Expenses to see if you can qualify for an Interest Rate Reduction
Be NICE!!!! Be so nice it makes you sick. They DO NOT have to look into this for you. They are under no obligation to help you with this, so make sure you are very nice! *Trust me, I know first hand how hard this can be!*
Tell them your TAKE HOME PAY and then ALL of your expenses. (Mortgage or rent payments – insurances – retirement – car payments – utilities – credit card – educational costs – how much it costs you a month to put gas in your car – etc, EVERYTHING!)
They will put all of your figures into a program, and will see if based on how much you make, your other expenses and your monthly student loan payment- if they can lower your interest rates!
Because of how high our monthly student loan payments were along with our other outgoing bills, they lowered them down to 3%! *One came down to 3% from 9.75%!
Seriously, that is all it takes! I was so elated when I FINALLY got to speak to someone that could actually help us. Now that it is a few days later I am a little annoyed that it has taken over a year to get to this point, but I truly hope that this info will be able to help a bunch of you!
Some important things to note:
- The lowest that you’ll be able to have your interest rate lowered to is 3%
- It is only good for one year. You’ll have to call back next year and go through the same process to keep it at this new lower rate
- Now that your rate is lowered, work your butt off this year to pay extra on the principle!
- This will NOT have a negative effect on your credit report.
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Click here for a bunch of additional articles to help you in affording the homeschool life!
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