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Help! Can't refinance my loans!

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  • #16

    At some point, the loan burden chooses your career path for you…
    Click to expand…

    Respectfully, slightly disagree.

    At some point yes… but not entirely. Maybe points you in a new direction, but not totally even at this level of debt.
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    Of course nothing is absolute.

    $511k of debt, 3 year fellowship in front of you where you won't even be paying the full interest, and 2 years of PSLF behind you already?  I think I'd find a 501(c)(3) to work at for another 5 years.

    I'm not very familiar with their particular salaries, but at that level of debt, I'd be tremendously inclined to find a qualifying job, even if it meant I had to take job that pays only 80 or 90% or was located somewhere undesirable.

    Would be interesting to see the figures on this one.


    • #17

      Hello all,

      This is my first WCI post so if I forget a few details bear with me. I am quite embarrassed about my position, which I unfortunately got to after an exorbitantly priced medical school. I am currently a first year pulmonary/critical care fellow in Chicago. I have $511,000 of student loans currently in the federal program at a horrible 7.25% interest.

      I am currently in PSLF with 25 months in (I had to defer the loans for 11 months when I bought my home). Based on some of the posts here I attempted to see what kinds of refi options I had, but EVERY BANK I contacted said their maximum refi amount is $450,000 and that they couldn’t help me at all. I have my paperwork in process to move into the REPAYE plan but I’m not sure what my best option is. Should I refinance, if so, how? Should I hold the course with the Feds at this horrible interest rate? Any help is appreciated!!

      Click to expand...

      Welcome to the forum. You're not alone, not even close. Yes, you've made some mistakes, but sounds like you're learning from them so you're moving in the right direction and that matters more than where you are starting from.

      Your mistakes:

      • Borrowed way too much to go to school

      • Have way too high of an interest rate for someone who graduated med school in 2013-2014 or so. I can't figure out why your loans aren't at least 1% lower.

      • Bought a house as a resident despite having half a million dollars in debt.

      • Trying to refinance while still in training.

      • Deferring your loans in residency instead of enrolling in IBR/PAYE/REPAYE ASAP.

      So, let's look at the big picture.

      You're a fantastic candidate for PSLF. Huge student loan burden and a long training period. Plus, you've already got 25 payments in in residency. Add on another 36 for fellowship, and you'll only need another 60 as an attending. How do you feel about staying in academics for 5 years after fellowship? That's what I'd do if I were you.

      So, assuming that's your plan, you don't want to refinance any of your federal loans (i.e. the ones eligible for PSLF.) Pay the minimum on those. You can refinance the private ones if you like, DRB/Laurel Road is the main choice. And you can throw any extra money you can scrape up at those since you'll be paying them off at some point.

      Whether PAYE or REPAYE is best for you is hard for me to say, but the usual answer is REPAYE. It really depends on your spouse's (if any) income.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011