For several years, I’ve been reading and compiling articles from around the web on all things related to student loans. It can be overwhelming, and there’s a reason a small industry has been spawned to help debtors best deal with their student loan balances.
Most of the time, you will be best off doing one of two things: pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness while making the lowest monthly payment possible for ten years or refinancing and paying off the loans relatively quickly (within ten years).
However, sometimes a third option may be better. And doing one of the first two options in an optimal way requires a fair amount of learning and doublechecking, dotting of “i”s and crossing of “t”s.
Below, I share a bevy of resources that can help you do the right thing.
If you don’t have the time or interest level to read dozens of blog posts and run multiple simulations via various online calculators, a student loan consult with a professional can save you many hours and possibly tens of thousands of dollars.
I trust Travis Hornsby and his team at Student Loan Planner. Some financial advisors offer similar services as a small part of their practice, and I’ve heard of a lot of bad advice given.
Student loan planning is all Travis does. It started with helping his physician wife manage hers, then her friends, and the business snowballed from there. Check out what Student Loan Planner has to offer.
If you’re ready to go it alone, read on for tons of resources.
The Student Loan Resource Page
This is a frequently updated page I’ve created, combing the web for all the best student loan information I can squeeze onto one page and working with refinancers to offer you excellent bonuses.
As an added bonus, if you end up refinancing via my referral links, I’ll make a donation of $50 to your charity of choice. Just be sure to follow up after you’ve refinanced and be sure to collect your cash-back bonus (see below) and ask me to make the donation. More details on that at the end of this page.
I have three goals with this page:
- Share some of the best posts I can find on the subject.
- Save you money on refinancing if that’s your best option.
- Advance the site’s charitable mission and help you with yours.
I have arrangements with the top student loan refinancers. You may find similar offers on other sites, but I doubt you’ll find another blogger who promises to donate so much of the profits from these referrals to charity.
With that in mind, I am comfortable sending you away to the farthest reaches of the web to show you some of the best write-ups I can find to help you in this decision-making process.
I do so with the trust that if you choose to refinance your loans, you’ll do so by returning here and using one of the links on this page.
Before closing, please be sure to verify that both you and I receive credit for the referral. If not, you may miss out on the cashback bonus and my bonus donation on your behalf.
**Earnest Welcome Bonus Offer Disclosure: Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for this Earnest Welcome Bonus offer: 1) you must not currently be an Earnest client, or have received the bonus in the past, 2) you must submit a completed student loan refinancing application through the designated PoF link; 3) you must provide a valid email address and a valid checking account number during the application process; and 4) your loan must be fully disbursed. The bonus will be automatically transmitted to your checking account after the final disbursement. There is a limit of one bonus per borrower. This offer is not valid for current Earnest clients who refinance their existing Earnest loans, clients who have previously received a bonus, or with any other bonus offers received from Earnest. Bonus cannot be issued to residents in KY, MA, or MI.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure: You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Lender Identification Footnote:Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
*Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.10% effective April 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
^^Reset Refinance annual percentage rates (APRs) assume you are enrolled in and maintain auto-debit payments from the date of origination. Enrolling in auto-debit results in a 0.25% interest rate reduction. Without enrolling in auto-debit, the rate will range from 2.99% APR to 6.42% APR. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If you are approved for a loan, the rate offered will depend on your credit profile and the term you select and will be within the ranges shown above assuming the auto-debit interest rate reduction applies. Applicants with loans already owned by ISL Education Lending are not eligible for the $500 offer.
^**Student Loan Refinance Disclaimer 1. Fixed rates from 2.74% APR to 6.39% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.39% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.12% plus 2.38% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
^Guaranteed Rate Match Offer: Your pre-qualified rate, and the rate match program itself, are conditional upon our verification of your application information, including verification of sufficient income to support an ability to repay. Eligible documentation of a competitor’s rate offer will be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion and must be for the same loan amount and term. SoFi will only match rate offers for private student loan refinance products. The match will be on the rate, exclusive of all discounts. The $100 Rate Match Bonus is not available to residents of Ohio. To receive the $100 Rate Match Bonus, you must: (1) register and/or apply for a student loan refinance (2) provide documentation of an eligible competitive rate offer; (3) call at (855) 456-SOFI (7634) and follow the instructions to send in your proof of lower rate; (4) have and provide a valid US bank account to receive bonus; (5) complete Form W-9; (6) and meet SoFi’s underwriting criteria and book a student loan refinance with SoFi. Once conditions are met and the loan has been disbursed, you will receive your Rate Match bonus via automated clearing house (ACH) into your checking account within 30 calendar days. Bonuses that are not redeemed within 180 calendar days of the date they were made available to the recipient may be subject to forfeit. Bonus amounts of $600 or greater in a single calendar year may be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as miscellaneous income to the recipient on Form 1099-MISC in the year received as required by applicable law. Recipient is responsible for any applicable federal, state or local taxes associated with receiving the bonus offer; consult your tax advisor to determine applicable tax consequences. Additional terms and conditions may apply. SoFi may discontinue this program at any time.
The Student Loan Resource Page
Blog Posts & Additional Resources
Post from Physician on FIRE:
- Top 5 Ways for Physicians to Attack Student Loans
- Student Loan Case Studies # 1, 2, & 3
- Student Loan Case Studies # 4, 5, & 6
Posts by Student Loan Planner
- Why Refinancing as a Resident is Usually a Bad Idea
- REPAYE Could Save $1,000 on Student Loans with One Phone Call
- Discretionary Income Definition Determines Student Loan Payments
- Here’s What the Latest PSLF Lawsuit Actually Means and How FedLoan Servicing Messed Up Big
- The Only Student Loans I Don’t Regret
- Important: Check PSLF Before Refinancing Your Student Loans
- What Student Loans Are PAYE and REPAYE Eligible?
- This Hospital Pharmacist Student Loan Benefit Could Be Worth Over $100,000
- Why Direct Grad Plus Loans are Really Expensive
- Georgetown Law School PSLF Abuse Shows Why Program Will End
- How to Hedge Against PSLF Repeal
- How to Spot a Student Loan Scam
- The Major Student Loan Mistakes Doctors Make in Residency
- Top 40 PSLF Tips
- Top 50 Loan Forgiveness Tips
- Is Financial Independence With Student Loans (Even Six-Figures of Debt) Possible?
- A Complete Guide to Getting All Your Student Loans Forgiven With PSLF
- Physician Retirement Planning: Your Options When You Owe Student Loans
- Student Loan Forgiveness After 20 Years or 10 Years — How to Decide
- How to Pay for Medical School and Get Loan Forgiveness
- Why the PSLF Success Rate Will Hit Over 50% by 2024
- How to Avoid Student Loan Forbearance
Posts from The White Coat Investor:
- New Student Loan Refinancing Options For Residents
- Refinancing Medical School Loans During Residency
- Buying a Home While You Owe Student Loans
- 12 Things To Know About Student Loan Refinancing
- What Should I Do With My Student Loans?
- Student Loans vs Investing
- Student Loan Management Issues
- The Doctors’ Loophole – Student Loans and PSLF
- 10 Reasons to Pay Off Your Student Loans Quickly
- Student Loan Refinancing- A Head to Head Competition
- REPAYE vs Refinancing Student Loans As a Resident
- Refinance and Pay Off Or Go For PSLF
- Ultimate Guide to Student Loan Debt Management for Doctors
- You Can’t Wish Your Student Loan Debt Away
- Build Wealth and Save on Taxes Pursuing PSLF
Posts from Future Proof MD
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Application Walkthrough
- PSLF — The Time Bomb Goes Off?
- To Be, or Not to Be…Consolidated/Refinanced…On Your Student Loans…
- REPAYE Revisited
- GUEST POST: I Switched to REPAYE and I Like It
- GUEST POST: Navigating between Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) and Student Loan Refinancing
- PSLF – Why REPAYE May NOT be the Best Plan
- Public Service Announcement: Recertify for Your Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans
- Invest Early or Pay Off Your Student Debt?
- Pay as You Earn (PAYE) vs. Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE)
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Revisited
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Posts from Dr. Wise Money
- 10 Weapons to Terminate Your Student Loans
- How I Pay My Student Loans Using Passive Income by Passive Income MD
- How I Paid Off My Student Loans at 30 as PGY1
- Be a Student Loan Terminator
- Is Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Repayment Plan for you?
- How I Take Charge of MY $375K Student Loan
- How I Accelerated My Student Loan Payoff
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) or Refinance?
- PSLF – Why REPAYE May NOT be the Best Plan.
- RePaye vs. Paye vs. IBR vs. Refinance
- YOUR “Personalized” Student Loan Management Strategy
- Student Loan Refinance 101
- Not going for PSLF? Why wait to lower your interest rate?
Posts by Live Free MD
Posts by Investing Doc
- The Student Loan Repayment Guide
- Steps to Take If You Have a Lot of Student Debt
- An Update on My Debt Payoff
- Average Amount of Debt for Graduating Doctors
- The Golden Handcuffs For Doctors – Loan Forgiveness
- REPAYE vs PAYE for Medical Students and Doctors
Posts by Wealthy Doc
- Changes are Coming to Loan Forgiveness
- Learn to Hate Debt
Posts by Big Law Investor
- Does Anyone Know If They Qualify for PSLF?
- Save Money on Your Student Loans
- Student Loan Refinancing Guide
- 5 Facts About REPAYE, IBR and PSLF
- Student Loan Repayment Term Length
- We’re Abandoning PSLF
- Private Student Loans – An Introduction
- Federal Student Loans – An Introduction
Post by Wealthkeel
Posts by Ben White
- How/Why to Consolidate Federal Student Loans When You Graduate Medical School
- Pros and Cons of REPAYE
- Yes, you can switch back from REPAYE to IBR & PAYE
- Planning for PSLF (public service loan forgiveness)
- Switching from REPAYE to PAYE after Residency
- Effective Rates of Negatively Amortized Federal Student Loans
Resources from AAMC FIRST Program
- Loan Repayment Timeline
- 2018 – 2019 Education Debt Manager (EDM) for Graduating Medical School Students
- MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)
- Living on a Resident’s Salary AND Paying Your Student Loans – You Can Do It!
- Effects of Federal Student Loan Consolidation
- Consolidation Quiz
Posts from Student Loan Hero
- Calculators. Too many to list.
- Guide to Income-Driven Repayment Plans for Federal Student Loans
- Should You Refinance Your Federal Student Loans?
- Navigating Federal Student Loan Repayment Programs
- 120+ Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs
- Student Loan Refinancing 101
- A Simple Guide For Determining Which Student Loans Are Best for Consolidation and Refinancing
- Student Loan Deferment and Forbearance: How to Pause Your Student Loan Payments
- Is an Income-Driven Repayment Plan the Best Choice for You?
Posts from The Simple Dollar
- Student Loan Consolidation Guide
- How to Spot Student Loan Forgiveness Scams
- What I Wish I Knew Before Taking Out Student Loans
- Using Credit Card Rewards to Pay Off Student Loans
- How to Take Out Student Loans Without a Cosigner
- Cancer Patients Can Now Defer Student Loans Without Accruing Interest
- Student Loan Forgiveness: Jobs That Pay Off Your Debt
Don’t forget to request your donation!
*To qualify for the $50 donation, I need to have proof that you did indeed refinance through one of the links or images found on this site. That is typically supplied by the refinancing entity, but if you’ve additional evidence, please share that info with me via e-mail.
Also, the charity you choose must be a registered 501(c)(3) charity that accepts tax-deductible donations. I’ll be donating anonymously from our donor advised fund and will send you proof of donation in the form of a receipt.
I can’t donate to a GoFundMe or similar fundraiser; it has to be an actual charitable organization in the eyes of the law. Fortunately, there are more than a million to choose from. Please supply me with as much information as possible (from Guidestar search) to fill out the donation form, which looks something like this.
We have two recommendations for student loan advice.
StudentLoanAdvice.com is a White Coat Investor company. It was created to help doctors, dentists, and other high earners tackle and defeat their student debt. Andrew Paulson is the Lead Student Loan Consultant and Co-Founder of StudentLoanAdvice.com with a master’s degree in accounting and a Certified Student Loan Professional (CSLP) designation. You will receive a customized student loan plan using the principles of The White Coat Investor. Letting a professional guide you through the best options to manage your loans will save you hours of research and stress and potentially save hundreds to thousands of dollars with your custom student loan plan. Andrew can get you answers to all of your student loan questions, clarity about your financial future and start you down the right path towards financial independence. Book a consult with Andrew at StudentLoanAdvice.com today.
If you’d like advice from a former Vanguard bond trader who has consulted on over 1,000 individual’s and couple’s student loan scenarios, or would like a second opinion, consider a consult from Travis, the Student Loan Planner.
If you owe more than $100,000 in student loans and aren’t 100% sure that you’re doing everything the right way, he finds projected savings of 125 times his consulting fee on average (that one-time fee ranges from $295 to $595). That’s tens of thousands of dollars.
If you’d like a custom plan, book a time at this link .You’ll get a consult form to fill out in your confirmation email. Make sure to mention that you heard about it from Physician on Fire on the consult form (currently question #28).
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent first (or only) card with an all-time high welcome bonus! Flexible rewards good for cash, travel, or transfer to travel partners, great travel protection & new Peloton, Lyft & DoorDash perks! $95 Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers great travel perks including Priority Pass lounge access, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ and a $300 annual travel credit. Elevated Peloton, Lyft and DoorDash benefits. $550 Annual Fee
If and when you’re ready to pull the trigger and refinance your student loans, I sincerely hope you will return to this page, collect your bonus from these links and let me know where you’d like your donation to go!