I've been taking a look at my student loans from law school (graduated in 2006) and debating if its worth looking around at refinancing or just paying down the principal.
Fed Unsub Stafford
Total Combined Balance: $111,692 Total Monthly Payment: ~ $1100
Loans 1,2 are paid off in 2039 Loans 3,4,5 are paid off in 2019
Combined income ~ $250k/yr
We have extra money monthly to put towards the principal now that we've paid off about 25k in credit card debt over the past few years (still have a mortgage, car payments and high daycare expenses), but debating if its worth making any moves to save additional interest. We do also have some potential expensive (~$50k) significant home repairs that we may not be able to put off any longer soon.
If you've been making progress towards IBR/PAYE then maybe sit tight, otherwise refinancing isn't a bad idea and then try to pay off much more aggressively to get them paid off and over with. Do you have significant home equity? Maybe refi everything and cash out some money for your renovations if they're absolutely necessary (e.g., structural problems vs. kitchen remodel), but otherwise I probably would put those off for a bit too. I refinanced all of mine with First Republic last year at 2.95% fixed and have been very happy with them so far.
raringvt said: Pay off #'s 3-5 right now. Pay extra on 1&2 as you are able. Don't take on new debt for your home renovations. Second this. With your income 3-5 should be gone next month. You can research trying to refi the rest. You might be able to drop the rate a bit, but don't wait too long. Rates aren't going much lower and my guess is they will be going up. I don't recommend getting a HELOC to pay them off because if anything bad happens, they can't rip the education out of your head, but they can take away your home. I doubt the spread is worth the risk.
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