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Caribbean grad - loan consolidation/refi

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  • Caribbean grad - loan consolidation/refi

    Hi everyone, new poster here.

    I've read most of the WCI Loan Refinancing posts, including the recently updated January 8th WCI blog-post and the Student Loan Management thread. I'm all out of ideas at this point and would appreciate some input/direction.

    HPI: I'm a U.S. citizen, Caribbean grad (with a previous Master's degree from a U.S. grad school) currently in my 2nd year of Residency with ~$300k total debt. The Caribbean medical school I earned my M.D. from was not eligible for Title IV Federal Loans, so I ended up taking out private loans (to add to my previous federal loans from undergrad & grad school).

    Problem:  As such, SoFi, Link Capital, Splash and Laurel Road all declined my loan consolidation application (reason: my M.D.-granting school is not part of their eligible schools). And although my Master's degree is from one of these qualifying schools, they all deferred to the MD-granting school; offering to add a co-signer also didn't make a difference. I applied to all other programs mentioned in the WCI Jan 8th post, but expect the same result by the end of this week (while taking a nice dip to my credit for all the hard hits). My Residency program doesn't qualify for PSLF. IBR/PAYE/REPAYE are options for my federal loans, but not private loans (~50% of total loans and with Sallie Mae).

    I'd appreciate any input/direction at this time from the WCI community. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Are the interest rates for your private loans worse than the rate you might get for a personal loan?

    Why do you feel like you need to consolidate the federal ones, for which you can do income-driven repayment, with the private ones?

    What are the repayment terms for the private ones? Do they have any provision for having far lower income than with what one could reasonably pay?

    We've got to deal with the now, but this should be a cautionary tale for those considering Caribbean schools and/or private student loans...sorry you're in this lousy situation. Hope it gets better.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply! Nothing to be sorry about, it accomplished my goals, just need to strategize right now  

      (1) Private loans interest rate at 6.75% for a total of around $130k. They only offer a 12-month "interest only"-payment period ($615/month) with no other low-income provisions (difference would go to co-signer which I'm trying to avoid). In terms of personal loans, all I've come across is a max of $35k at 5.65%.

      (2) Good point on using IDR for federal loans; that's the plan right now, which comes out at ~$600/month payments

      Problem:  combining the IDR Fed loans ($600/month) with the interest-only private loans ($615/month) still ends up eating my 2-week paycheck which is not realistically doable with rent/gas/food in a big city.

      That's why I was thinking of consolidating all private+fed loans and ending up with a lower monthly at least for the next 2 yrs of residency (plus possible 1-2 extra fellowship), but ran into the "med school is not eligible" problem from all lenders so far. Any ideas are more than welcomed!

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