How to Pay Off $70,000 of Student Loans
Updated On January 20, 2022
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If you want to know how to pay off $70,000 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 $70,000 of student loans.
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Here’s how to pay off $70,000 of student loans:
- Refinance your student loans
- Pay off highest interest student loan first
- Enroll an income-driven repayment plan
- Get student loan forgiveness
- Refinance student loans with a cosigner
Refinance your student loans
To pay $70,000 of student loans, the decision to refinance student loans could save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
When you refinance student loans, you can combine your current federal student loans and private student loans into a new private student loan with a lower interest rate. The proceeds from your new student loan is used to pay off your old student loans. With student loan refinancing, you can get a single student loan, a single student loan interest rate, a single monthly payment and a single student loan servicer.
Student loan refinancing also enables 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 $70,000 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 $173 each month and $20,804 overall.
Here are helpful resources for student loan refinancing:
- How to refinance student loans
- 7 reasons why you should refinance student loans now
- Is student loan refinancing worth it?
- Why refinance student loans
- How to refinance federal student loans
Pay off highest interest student loan first
To pay off $70,000 of student loans, another option is to pay off your student loans in a way that saves you the most money. Here how to do it, and it’s called the avalanche method.
Under the avalanche method, you first make the minimum student loan payment each month. Then, you focus on paying your student loan with the highest interest rate regardless of the balance. Then, once you pay off this student loan, then pay off the student loan with the next highest interest rate. 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 $70,000 of student loans and an 8% interest rate. Let’s also assume that your monthly student loan payment is $849. If you pay an extra $100 per month (for a total of $949 per month), you could pay off your student loans 1.51 years earlier and save $5,271.
Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan
If you’re paying off $70,000 of student loans, you can enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. An income-driven repayment plan provides flexibility to pay federal student loans. For example, your monthly student loan payment can be based off your 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-Based Repayment (IBR)
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
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 loan balance.
Get student loan forgiveness
If you want to know how to pay off $70,000 of student loans, you could get 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 if you meet certain requirements. Unfortunately, the federal government doesn’t offer student loan forgiveness for private student loans. Two main programs for student loan forgiveness include Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
(Learn more in our student loan forgiveness guide).
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you have $70,000 of federal student loans, you could get student loan forgiveness 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 enroll in an income-driven repayment plan, and then make at least a majority of your 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.
Refinance student loans with a cosigner
If you want to pay off $70,000 of student loans, you could also refinance student loans with a cosigner. A qualified cosigner such as a parent or spouse with stable income and good to excellent credit can help you get approved for student loan refinancing and get a lower interest rate. A cosigner assumes equal financial responsibility for your student loans. That said, many lenders allow you to refinance student loans again and remove a cosigner once you have made a certain number of monthly payments and demonstrated financial responsibility.
A cosigner is not required for student loan refinancing, but it could help you if you have bad credit or irregular income, for example. That said, if you have at least a 650-credit score, steady monthly income and a low debt-to-income ratio, you may be a strong candidate for student loan refinancing without a cosigner.
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.