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Tell us how you tackle your student debt

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A number of recent graduates have asked us: why is my student loan interest rate so high? And how can I more quickly pay off this loan?

Often borrowers have several loans at different interest rates. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of interest you pay each month, you’ll want to look into whether you can refinance your student loans – but there are relatively few options out there. Another option is to make extra payments toward your loans, which can save you a lot of money, especially when you direct those payments toward the individual loan with the highest interest rate.

However, many of you have told us about problems you face when trying to tell your student loan servicer what to do with your extra payments. Some of you also have told us that you’ve had a hard time getting a straight answer about these payment processing policies.

Tell us your story.

What advice would you give to borrowers just beginning to repay their loans? What worked and what didn’t work? Be sure to include the tag “student loan” with your story. Your story can help us build better tools for student loan borrowers and help borrowers that run into trouble.

For example, some of you have told us that you provide instructions in the “memo” field of your check or through an online “bill pay” service. You’ve also told us that you’ve called your student loan servicer in advance to let them know that your employer might be making a payment on your behalf and you want the payment applied in a certain way. Sometimes this works and sometimes this doesn’t.

Tell us what worked for you.

We’ve also asked student loan servicers to tell us about their policies for handling extra payments, so that we can keep building tools to help you tackle your debt more quickly. And as a reminder, it is unlawful for student loan servicers to charge you penalties or fees for prepaying your student loan.

If you need help today, check out our Repay Student Debt tool to figure out your options, especially if you can’t make your payment. You can also submit a complaint or Ask CFPB.

We look forward to hearing from you!

  • TRUTH

    This entire private “student loan” industry should be shut down.

    • Scott

      No, it should have the interest rate changed to zero percent because they should not profit from putting us into tens of thousands of dollars into debt in our early twenties!

      • James

        Scott, you make a great point.

        Here’s a question for you. Would you lend to someone at 0% interest?

    • BlackiesCrazy

      Plus the private student loan market shouldn’t basically be a subsidy to the education department.

  • Scott

    I handle my student debt by not paying. I work and make $11.50 per hour at a home improvement store and got my hours cut from 38 down to 29 so I’ve quit making the payments. From what I understand, the money will just come out of my tax refund or I can claim indigent status and let the debt be charged off when I’m dead in 50 years!

  • BlackiesCrazy

    The only true way to solve the student debt crisis is to hold lenders accountable, not just the student especially in private loans students have next to no options. Return bankruptcy protections, statue of limitations, remove predatory lending, return full debt collection practices, and make lenders tell the truth in interest rates, defaults, etc. If bankruptcy protections were returned borrowers would have some leverage and banks would be more willing to work with the customers on their debt.

The CFPB blog aims to facilitate conversations about our work. We want your comments to drive this conversation. Please be courteous, constructive, and on-topic. To help make the conversation productive, we encourage you to read our comment policy before posting. Comments on any post remain open for seven days from the date it was posted.