How to Pay Off $30,000 of Student Loans

By Mentor Staff | Edited By Mentor Staff

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

December 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
4.49% - 8.99%
4.49% - 8.99%
4.49% - 8.99%

View Details

on SoFi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
4.49% - 8.99%
Fixed APR:
4.49% - 8.99%
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
3.99% - 8.29%
4.39% - 8.99%
3.99% - 8.99%

View Details

on Earnest's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.99% - 8.29%
Fixed APR:
4.39% - 8.99%
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 NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
3.99% - 8.29%
4.39% - 8.99%
3.99% - 8.99%

View Details

on NaviRefi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.99% - 8.29%
Fixed APR:
4.39% - 8.99%
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
3.53% - 7.24%
4.83% - 7.64%
3.53% - 7.64%

View Details

on ELFI's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.53% - 7.24%
Fixed APR:
4.83% - 7.64%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$35,000
Fees:
None
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
2.50% - 8.65%
3.99% - 8.49%
2.50% - 8.65%

View Details

on Splash's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 8.65%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 8.49%
Minimum Credit Score:
640
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5 – 25 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Varies
Co-signer Option:
No
5.09% - 11.67%
5.39% - 11.87%
5.09% - 11.87%

View Details

on Citizens' website

Overview

Variable APR:
5.09% - 11.67%
Fixed APR:
5.39% - 11.87%
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
2.50% - 6.80%
4.49% - 6.90%
2.50% - 6.90%

View Details

on Laurel Road's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 6.80%
Fixed APR:
4.49% - 6.90%
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
3.27% - 6.87%
3.99% - 10.68%
3.27% - 10.68%

View Details

on LendKey's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.27% - 6.87%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 10.68%
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
-
3.94% - 9.08%
3.94% - 9.08%

View Details

on ISL's website

Overview

Variable APR:
-
Fixed APR:
3.94% - 9.08%
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 $30,000 of student loans:

  1. Refinance student loans
  2. Make an extra student loan payment
  3. Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan
  4. 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:

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:

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.

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