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Very low student loan, not a WCI

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  • Very low student loan, not a WCI


    I love this site since I stumbled upon it several months ago and have recommended it to many friends so thank you to all contributors!

    Quick question in regards to my federal student loan repayment plan options, my deferment period ends in November.

    Let me preface with the fact that I am not a "white coat investor" or high income earner (yet, hopefully)
    Recently graduated and started my position in financial services making 43k a year (gross) in the Midwest, I have 21k in student loans at a weighted average interest rate of 3.8% and a monthly budget of about $900 for debt payments and investing combined. I already contribute and get a 5% 401k match.

    I know it won't make a colossal difference in which payment plan I choose, but I have the option to apply for the PAYE, REPAYE, or the IBR, or staying in the default 10 year repayment plan. Should I apply for a different plan and/or pay more than the minimum 200-300 payment I anticipate in November? In what fashion?
    Thanks in advance for all perspectives and responses!

  • #2
    Doesn't sound like you'll be going for PSLF, so I'd plan to pay off your debts. After getting the match, I'd probably direct all other available money at the student loan. I'd also try to refinance it and most importantly, do all you can to increase your income. That $21K debt goes away a lot faster if you're making $100K than if you're making $50K.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


    • #3
      pay off immediately...


      agree with WCI - do everything you can do get income up...  find a side hustle and get debt free asap. you will have many more options open once you do.  you can do it!


      • #4
        I agree that getting the 401k match is priority #1.  Also, if the question is whether you should pay off student loans quickly or slowly, then obviously you should make those go away ASAP.

        But you did mention that you had $900 budgeted monthly of debt management and investing with a $300 minimum monthly payment on your loans.  What about directing $600 toward your student loans and the other $300 toward investments?  We have to make the assumption that market ROI will be greater than your 3.8% interest rate, which shouldn't be too far of a stretch. Plus, the bulk is still directed toward your student loans, so you'll pay them off earlier than the schedule you're on.

        See this article on opportunity-cost as it relates to student loans.  Not saying this is the right move in all situations, but just something to factor in to your decision: