How to Pay Off $100,000 of Student Loans

By Mentor Staff | Edited By Mentor Staff

Updated On March 9, 2022

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If you want to know how to pay off $100,000 of student loans, it’s more manageable than you make think. The good news is that there are several options for student loan repayment, even if you have to pay off $100,000 of student loans.

Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing

May 2022

Variable APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Variable APR means that your interest rate can fluctuate over time, which can increase or decrease your monthly student loan payment. Typically, a variable-rate loan has a lower introductory rate than a fixed-loan rate loan. Variable APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
Fixed APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Fixed APR means that your interest rate will always stay the same. Even if interest rates change, your interest rate or monthly payment will not. Fixed APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
APR
1.74% - 7.99%
3.49% - 7.99%
1.74% - 7.99%

View Details

on SoFi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.74% - 7.99%
Fixed APR:
3.49% - 7.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
1.74% - 7.99%
2.74% - 7.99%
1.74% - 7.99%

View Details

on Earnest's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.74% - 7.99%
Fixed APR:
2.74% - 7.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except KY or NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
1.74% - 7.99%
2.74% - 7.99%
1.74% - 7.99%

View Details

on NaviRefi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.74% - 7.99%
Fixed APR:
2.74% - 7.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,001 ($10,001 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
1.86% - 6.01%
2.73% - 5.99%
1.86% - 6.01%

View Details

on ELFI's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.86% - 6.01%
Fixed APR:
2.73% - 5.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$35,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$15,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
1.74% - 8.70%
1.99% - 8.63%
1.74% - 8.70%

View Details

on Splash's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.74% - 8.70%
Fixed APR:
1.99% - 8.63%
Minimum Credit Score:
660
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5 – 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Varies
Co-signer Option:
Yes
1.99% - 8.38%
3.74% - 8.63%
1.99% - 8.63%

View Details

on Citizens' website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.99% - 8.38%
Fixed APR:
3.74% - 8.63%
Minimum Credit Score:
Not disclosed
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
No prepayment or origination fees
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
1.89% - 5.90%
2.99% - 6.00%
1.89% - 6.00%

View Details

on Laurel Road's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.89% - 5.90%
Fixed APR:
2.99% - 6.00%
Minimum Credit Score:
660
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
1.90% - 5.25%
2.49% - 7.75%
1.90% - 7.75%

View Details

on LendKey's website

Overview

Variable APR:
1.90% - 5.25%
Fixed APR:
2.49% - 7.75%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except ME, ND, NV, RI, WV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
-
4.44% - 8.48%
4.44% - 8.48%

View Details

on ISL's website

Overview

Variable APR:
-
Fixed APR:
4.44% - 8.48%
Minimum Credit Score:
670
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except OR and ME
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes

Here’s how to pay off $100,000 of student loans:

  1. Refinance your student loans
  2. Refinance your student loans with a cosigner
  3. Pay off highest interest student loan first
  4. Pay off lowest balance student loan first
  5. Enroll an income-driven repayment plan
  6. Get student loan forgiveness

Refinance your student loans

To pay off $100,000 of student loans, one popular option is to refinance your student loans.

When you refinance your student loans, you combine your existing federal student loans and private student loans into a new private student loan with a lower interest rate. With a lower interest rate, you can save up to thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars, in interest costs over the life of your student loan.

Student loan refinancing helps you to choose a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate. You can also choose a student loan repayment term from five to 20 years. A shorter student loan term such as five years can help you pay off your student loans faster. In contrast, a longer student loan repayment term such as 20 years can lower your student loan payments.

Compare the latest rates for student loan refinancing.

This student loan refinancing calculator shows you how much you can save when you refinance student loans.

For example, let’s assume that you have $100,000 of student loans at a 7% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term. Let’s assume you refinance student loans at a 3% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term. You would save $195 each month and $23,457 overall.

Here are helpful resources for student loan refinancing:

Refinance your student loans with a cosigner

If you want to pay off $100,000 of student loans, you could also refinance student loans with a cosigner. This is especially helpful if you have bad credit or average credit. Why? A qualified cosigner such as a parent or spouse could help you get approved for student loan refinancing and get a lower interest rate.

Read: Top 30 questions about student loan refinancing

If you think you need a qualified cosigner, consider someone with strong credit and steady income with a low debt-to-income ratio. While your cosigner will assume equal financial responsibility for your student loans, you can refinance your student again to release your cosigner once you meet certain requirements. If you’re applying with a cosigner to refinance student loans, make sure to choose a lender when you refinance that has a cosigner release option.

Explore the latest rates for student loan refinancing.

Read about the best banks to refinance student loans.

Learn the difference between student loan refinancing and student loan consolidation.

Pay off highest interest student loan first

To pay off $100,000 of student loans, another option is to pay off student loans with the highest interest rate first. This is called the avalanche method.

Here’s how the avalanche method works:

First, always pay the minimum payment on your student loans.

Second, identify your student loan with the highest interest rate.

Third, pay off the student loan with the highest interest rate.

Fourth, once you pay off the student loan with the highest interest rate, then pay off the student loan with the next highest interest rate.

Fifth, repeat this process until you have paid off all your student loans.

This student loan payoff calculator shows you how much money you can save when you pay off your student loans faster.

Let’s assume that you have $100,000 of student loans and an 8% interest rate. Let’s also assume that your monthly student loan payment is $1,213. If you pay an extra $200 per month (for a total of $1,413 per month), you could pay off your student loans 1.92 years earlier and save $9,871.

Pay off lowest balance student loan first

To pay off $100,000 of student loans, you could pay off your lowest balance student loan first. This is called the snowball method. Here’s how it works.

First, always pay your minimum monthly student loan payment.

Second, pay off your lowest balance student loan.

Third, once you have paid off your lowest balance student loan, then start paying off your student loan with the next lowest balance.

Fourth, repeat this process until you pay off your student loans.

Unlike the avalanche method (which focuses on interest rate), the snowball method focuses on the student loan balance, regardless of interest rate.

The reason the snowball method is effective to pay off $100,000 of student loans is because it helps you build small wins as you pay off each student loan. While the avalanche method may be more advantageous financially, the snowball method is advantageous psychologically.

Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan

If you need to pay off $100,000 of student loans, you can enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. An income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly federal student loan payment based on your discretionary income and family size. Each month, you pay 10% to 20% of your discretionary income toward your federal student loans.

There are four income-driven repayment plans:

Income-driven repayment plans also offer student loan forgiveness as follows:

  • Undergraduate student loans: get student loan forgiveness after 20 years
  • Graduate student loans: get student loan forgiveness after 25 years

Get student loan forgiveness

If you want to know how to pay off $100,000 of student loans, you can also explore student loan forgiveness.

There are several federal programs for student loan forgiveness that are available to all federal student loan borrowers. (How to get student loan forgiveness and cancel student loan debt).

Student loan forgiveness is available for federal student loans through the federal government, but the federal government doesn’t provide student loan forgiveness for private student loans. Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness are two popular federal programs for student loan forgiveness.

(Learn more in our student loan forgiveness guide).

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is available to federal student loan borrowers who work full-time for a public service or non-profit employer.
  • Student loan borrowers must make 120 monthly student loan payments.
  • You must enroll in an income-driven repayment plan.,
  • You must make at least a majority of your federal student loan payments while enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan.

This public service loan forgiveness calculator shows you your monthly student loan payment and how much student loan forgiveness you can get when you enroll in public service loan forgiveness.

Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness

  • The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program can provide up to $17,500 of federal student loan forgiveness.
  • To qualify, you must be employed full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years at an elementary school, secondary school or educational service agency that serves low-income students.
  • In comparison, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program takes longer to complete, but public service loan forgiveness can forgive all your remaining federal student loans. In contrast, Teacher Loan Forgiveness only forgives up to $17,500.

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