This applies at least to all the bell-ringers at the maritime academies, and probably to most college graduates. It’s expensive!
Anyhow, I’ve been out for a couple of years now and I’m starting to look at my college debt to see what I can do to consolidate, reduce interest, and cut down the payoff time. I have a small family, so going to see for a year and paying off college simply isn’t an option.
Anyhow, here’s what I’ve found. My lender is Great Lakes. I have three loan numbers with them, and under each loan number, there are sub-loans each with different interest rates. What I wanted to do was change all payments to minimum payments, then whatever is left over (that I’m willing to afford each month) throw at the account with the crappiest interest rate. Once that crap interest rate is gone (first!), take that chunk and knock out the next highest interest rate etc. That is called snow-ball payoff of debt. I think.
Of course, awesome Great Lakes doesn’t let you do that. I can only pay off individual loan-numbers. Inside those loan-numbers are bundled interest rates, so I can’t direct that money towards the worst interest rate. Or, they tell me the money goes towards the loan with the highest interest rate, but I have to take their word for it because I can’t see the trends over the months, only a snapshot of what I owe at any one moment. Useless.
This is a neat site: http://studentloanhero.com/
You can put in your social security number, and your old FASFA PIN (you remember that one?!?) and it will grab all your loan balances and interest rates badda-bing. Pretty slick, but there isn’t much you can do with the info.
I made a spreadsheet with all my loans and interest rates on it and came up with a weighted interest rate of 5.67%, which is okay. But I still can’t direct any money.
There’s also this place:
It lets you put in your details for Great Lakes, but won’t connect to grab the account info. Meh
Anyone had much luck with lowering their total interest over the life of the loan? Or making monthly payments smaller, and able to throw more at the loans etc.?