How to Pay Off $30,000 of Student Loans
Updated On January 13, 2022
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If you have $30,000 in student loan debt, you’re not alone. The average student loan debt is approximately $30,000. If you want to know how to pay off $30,000 of student loans, then it’s helpful to understand the best strategies and find which one works best for you.
Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing
Here’s how to pay off $30,000 of student loans:
- Refinance student loans
- Make an extra student loan payment
- Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan
- Consider student loan forgiveness
Refinance student loans
If you want to pay off your student loans faster, you can refinance student loans to get a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment, or both. With a lower interest rate, for example, you could save money each month and get out of student loan debt more quickly. Student loan refinancing is the process of getting a new student loan with a lower interest rate and using that student loan to pay off your current debt. You can compare the latest rates for student loan refinancing to find the best option for you.
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 $30,000 of student loans at an 8% 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 $74 each month and $8,916 overall.
Student loan refinancing resources:
- How to refinance student loans
- Why you should refinance student loans now
- Is student loan refinancing worth it?
Make an extra student loan payment
If you want to pay off $30,000 of student loans, make an extra student loan payment. There are two ways to make an extra student loan payment. First, you can make a one-time, lump-sum student loan payment. Second, you could increase your monthly student loan payment by a specific dollar amount. If you make an extra student loan payment, make sure to instruct your student loan servicer in writing that these extra student loan payments should be applied to pay off your principal student loan balance.
This lump sum extra payment calculator shows you how much money and time you can save when you make a lump sum payment or extra payment toward your student loans.
For example, let’s assume that you have $30,000 of student loans with an average interest rate of 8% and a $364 monthly student loan payment. If you make a one-time, extra payment of $500, you will save $512 on your student loans. Plus, you will pay off your student loans 2 months earlier.
Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan
Another option to pay $30,000 of student loans is to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. An income-driven repayment plan bases your monthly student loan payment based on your discretionary income, family size and state of residence. Income-driven repayment plans only are available for federal student loans but not private student loans.
There are four income-driven repayment plans:
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
You can enroll in an income-driven repayment plan through your student loan servicer. Make sure to recertify your income each year, since it can affect the amount of your monthly student loan payment. After 20 years (undergraduate student loans) or 25 years (graduate student loans) of on-time monthly payments, you can get student loan forgiveness for your remaining federal student loans.
Consider student loan forgiveness
If you have $30,000 of student loans, you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness. There are several options for student loan forgiveness for federal student loans. Here are some popular programs for student loan forgiveness.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
You can get student loan forgiveness for all your federal student loans through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. To qualify, you must work full-time for a qualified public service or non-profit employer and make 120 monthly student loan payments. You also must meet other requirements.
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
You can get up to $17,500 of federal student loan forgiveness through the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. 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.