Help us wrap our college-educated minds around our student loans.
September 19, 2012 6:25 PM Subscribe
Please school me on student loan debt consolidation.
posted by furnace.heart to Work & Money (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So, my wife and I have taken out student loans. Awesome.
My loans are easy, I only went to undergrad and and only pay back a small portion of that loan (I owe less than $9k, and pay about $160 a month, just above the minimum). They're not the problem at all.
My wife's loans are much messier, and we're having trouble wrapping our head around them, and how to tackle these beasts. We're not even sure if we can consolidate them. She has both undergrad, and grad loans. All of her loans are either subsidized, or unsubsidized stafford loans, but they vary in interest rate from as low as 2.39% all the way up to 6.75%. They're serviced through Great Lakes, and through Sallie Mae.
Details in bullet point form:
-We're paying the minimum on all of them, and are over $650 a month, which is rivaling our rent for most expensive budget item.
-We've applied for income-based repayment, but Sallie Mae is apparently staffed by monkeys who can't even tell us when paperwork doesn't go through.
-My wife has 25 months total of deferment that she can use.
-We have no other debt, other than $6k left on a car loan. No CC's or anything.
We're trying to explore our options for reasonably paying these back...my wife is a mental health provider who is working towards licensure, and stands to make more in the next 1-2 years, and we also have a 1 year old which limits our employment flexibility options. We're basically you're typical young family, struggling while starting out.
1. I know what the words "loan consolidation" are, but I have no idea what they do, or if they apply to us in this situation. What is loan consolidation in real life? Can it be beneficial to us?
2. If loan consolidation doesn't apply to us, How do we best tackle these loans? We're willing to defer loans strategically to make this happen.
3. Is there any way we can convince these motherfuckers that we don't make much money, and we are struggling to pay them? How do we escalate this at Sallie Mae and get to talk to people who aren't reading from a script, or picking their nose?