If you're finishing school with significant student debt, and preparing to begin work during these trying times, rest assured that you're not alone... and that opportunity abounds.
You may already know that the time between when you graduate and when you begin working, particularly for a non-profit or other PSLF-qualified employer, is a critical time to take action on your debt. But what action exactly? We’re glad you asked…
- Consolidation enables you forgo your grace period and enter repayment immediately. You’ll need to wait until you’ve graduated and your loan status is in grace. If consolidating your loans will help you start progress towards loan forgiveness, it is best to do it as soon as possible, ideally before you begin training.
- Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans typically provide graduates with affordable payments, reduced interest, and loan forgiveness opportunities, and are preferable to using forbearance (the “F word” in student loan repayment today, in our opinion) Be sure to determine if and IDR plan is your best option, and if so, which one is most appropriate.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is available to those working for 501(c)3 employers and in government roles (federal, state and local). Remember that your grace period does not count towards PSLF, but consolidating and choosing an IDR plan before you start training DOES when you begin qualified employment.
- Filing a tax return for 2019 showing little to $0 income (less than $20k) will typically allow you to secure a $0 payment in your intern year. If you completed the non-filer IRS form to receive stimulus monies, this will also count as documentation for an IDR plan.
- Refinancing may be appropriate to lower your current interest rates, if you're ready to enter repayment and do not intend to utilize federal loan relief, or it is not available. In fact, rates in the private marketplace are at record lows.
If you'd like help with ANY of the above action items, please schedule an initial chat with us here: https://calendly.com/pslfjobs/15min
'til DEBT do us part...