Student Loan Experience and Repayments with the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program – [Written by Bryann Andrea]
Loans for most students are a nightmare. Finding and applying for a student loan is rather easy. But once you have obtained a loan, the nightmare settles upon you. You toss and turn during the night wondering, how on heaven’s earth am I ever going to pay off a loan when I don’t even have a job? And that dreaded question scares people the most… How am I supposed to pay off my student loans?
Unfortunately, many students like me will have to work a job or two, and take out loans to pay for college; leaving little time for them to actually relish the college experience, network, and just enjoy “college life.”
I want to share my student loan experience and the nightmare I was facing when I discovered just days before classes started that many students were losing scholarship and tuition money. As a student athlete, going into my fourth year of college, I had never had to scramble to secure funds for tuition. And of course, the last thing I wanted to do was take out a student loan and be burdened with college debt. My head was pounding and I was going out of my mind. The idea of dropping out due to lack of funds crossed my mind. I asked myself, “If I dare take out student loans, how would I be able to pay off the loans?” And since I had no tuition money, how would I pay for room and board?
The idea or notion that a quality college education will provide a life of comfort and security is ingrained in most of us from an early age. You get good grades, graduate; get a degree, and the jobs just start falling into your lap. Well…No. Unfortunately that’s, not how it always works. Having knowledge that not everything in life turns out as planned, had me shaking in my boots. There was no way I was taking on student loan debt. The idea frightened me. Too many unknowns were around the corner and I couldn’t see past the forest. Take out a student loan? No, way!
Well, after a few days of panic, I decided on a graduate assistantship where students contract with the department to provide a minimum number of hours per week in some capacity and in return, I would have my room fees waived. I also took on a job and started an internship.
I also convinced myself to take out a student loan. And while conducting research for a loan, I discovered the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Act Program which put me a little at ease. Students enrolling in college can now take advantage of an expanded payment plan or even have an opportunity to have some loans excused. The goal of this Act is to have an affordable college education within reach for more Americans. The process for applying is pretty easy and takes just one phone call. The good thing about this program is they start working with you as soon as you graduate college.
Below are the repayment plans that are beneficial to students who participate in Obama’s Student Loan Forgiveness Act Program:
Standard Repayment – The borrower will pay a fix amount each month for the life of the loan. The payment would be determined by your borrowed amount, interest rate, and term of the loan.
Graduated Repayment – The borrower would make payments lower than the standard repayment plan, but would gradually increase every two years.
Income Contingent (ICR) – In this plan, the borrower would make payments based on their income, family size, loan balance, and interest rate. Borrowers in the ICR can have a payment as low as $0.00/mo
Income Based (IBR) – This plan bases the borrower’s payment strictly on their income and family size. The balance of the loan and interest rate are not used in calculating the monthly payment. The borrower would be responsible to pay 15% of their discretionary income to their federal student loans. Borrowers in the IBR can have a payment as low as $0.00/mo
Pay As You Earn(PAYE) – This plan usually has the lowest monthly payment, and is also based on your income but uses 10% of your discretionary income as a payment instead of the 15% used in IBR.
Learn more about Student Loans from the sources below: