How to Pay Off $300,000 of Student Loans
Updated On September 2, 2023
Editorial Note: This content is based solely on the author's opinions and is not provided, approved, endorsed or reviewed by any financial institution or partner.
If you want to know how to pay off $300,000 of student loans, you’re not alone. Having $300,000 of student loans can feel overwhelming. Like many doctors, dentists and lawyers, you may have borrowed student loans to pay for school. However, the good news is that there are simple strategies how to pay off $300,000 of student loans.
Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing
Here’s how to pay off $300,000 of student loans:
- Refinance your student loans
- Use a cosigner for student loan refinancing
- Enroll in income-driven repayment
- Explore student loan forgiveness
- Compare the avalanche and snowball method
Refinance your student loans
A popular strategy for how to pay off $300,000 of student loans is to refinance your student loans. When you refinance student loans, you get a lower interest rate, which saves you money.
The process is simple: you combine your current student loans into a new, single, private student loans with a lower interest rate, lower student loan payment or both. Student loan refinancing can help you save up to thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars, in interest over the life of your student loan.
With $300,000 of student loans, student loan refinancing is best for you if you have a high interest rate on your student loan debt, a high monthly student loan payment, and good to excellent credit. You can refinance federal student loans, private student loans or both. Both variable interest rates and fixed interest rates are available. Borrowers can also choose a student loan repayment term from five to 20 years.
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 $300,000 of student loans at a 7.5% 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 $664 each month and $79,708 overall.
Here are helpful resources for student loan refinancing:
- 7 reasons why you should refinance student loans now
- How to refinance student loans
- Why refinance student loans
- Is student loan refinancing worth it?
- Top 30 questions about student loan refinancing
Use a cosigner for student loan refinancing
The ability to pay off $300,000 of student loans may depend on whether you can get approved for student loan refinancing. To qualify for student loan refinancing, you will need at least a 650 credit score. However, many lenders prefer a credit score higher than 700. If you have bad credit or average credit, you may want to use a cosigner for student loan refinancing.
What is a cosigner? A qualified cosigner is a spouse, parent or relative with strong credit and stable income who will apply with you. If you use a cosigner, it could help you get approved for student loan refinancing and get a lower interest rate. Importantly, a cosigner assumes equal financial responsibility for your student loans.
If you don’t have a cosigner or don’t apply for student loan refinancing, it’s important to understand the full cost of your student loans. This can help you determine how to pay off $300,000 of student loans in the best way for you.
This monthly student loan payment calculator shows you your monthly and total student loan payments.
Let’s assume you don’t refinance student loans. For student loans with a balance of $300,000 with a 7.5% average interest rate and a loan term of 10 years, your total monthly payment would be $3,561. The total repayment amount would be $427,326 (which includes $127,326 in interest).
Therefore, student loan refinancing with a cosigner could help save you money.
Compare: the latest rates for student loan refinancing.
Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan
If you want to know how to pay off $300,000 of student loans, an income-driven repayment plan may be another helpful option. An income-driven repayment plan is best for borrowers who have federal student loans and who are struggling to make monthly payments. Through income-driven repayment, your monthly student loan payment will be based on your discretionary income and family size.
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)
It’s important to compare income-driven repayment plan options to determine which student loan repayment plan is best for you. While your monthly payment could be as low as $0, typically your student loan payment is 10-20% of your monthly discretionary income.
Income-driven repayment plans also offer student loan forgiveness after 20 years (for undergraduate student loans) or 25 years (for graduate student loans). If you make full, on-time monthly payments over this time period, your remaining federal student loan balance can be forgiven.
Explore student loan forgiveness
To pay off $300,000 of student loans, student loan forgiveness is an option to explore.
For federal student loans, there are several options for student loan forgiveness. These programs are offered through the federal government and can lead to student loan cancellation after requirements are met.
For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is available to federal student loan borrowers who work full-time (at least 30 hours a week) for a public service or non-profit employer and make 120 monthly student loan payments. Student loan borrowers can get full federal student loan cancellation if they meet certain requirements. Importantly, make sure to submit an Employer Certification Form to the U.S. Department of Education each year and whenever you change jobs.
Who can qualify for student loan forgiveness through public service loan forgiveness? Here are a few examples:
- Law enforcement
- First responders
- Public servants
This public service loan forgiveness calculator helps you decide which income-driven repayment plan is best for you to save more money for public service loan forgiveness.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness is another option for student loan forgiveness. This program grants up to $17,500 of federal student loan forgiveness for teachers. To qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, 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.
Compare the avalanche and snowball method
The avalanche method and the snowball method are two strategies for student loan repayment. While both are effective strategies, you may prefer either the avalanche method or the snowball method based on your personal circumstances and financial goals.
The avalanche method
The avalanche method is a smart strategy to pay off $300,000 of student loans. Why? The goal of the avalanche method is to pay off your most expensive student loans first.
The avalanche method works like this:
- First, pay the minimum monthly payment on your student loans.
- Second, pay the student loan with the highest interest rate.
- Third, pay off the student loan with the highest interest rate.
- Fourth, 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 $300,000 of student loans and a 7.5% interest rate. Let’s also assume that your monthly student loan payment is $3,561. If you pay an extra $500 per month (for a total of $4,061 per month), you could pay off your student loans 1.67 years earlier and save $23,628.
The snowball method:
The snowball method is another popular option to pay off $300,000 of student loans. Why? The snowball method helps you pay off your lowest balance student loan first. This helps you build confidence as you pay off debt.
The snowball method works like this:
- First, pay your minimum monthly student loan payment.
- Second, pay off your lowest balance student loan.
- Third, repeat this process until you pay off your lowest balance student loan
- Fourth, pay your student loan with the next lowest balance.
- Fifth, repeat this process until you pay off your student loans.
How to pay off $300,000 of student loans
Compare the latest rates for student loan refinancing so you can pay off $300,000 of student loans:
Compare the latest rates for student loan refinancing
Compare the latest rates for MBA student loan refinancing
Compare the latest rates for Parent PLUS Loan refinancing