Can I refinance a private student loan from Sallie Mae?

Can I refinance a private student loan from Sallie Mae?
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#1

I have a balance of $28,000 with an interest rate of 13.8%. My payments are at $394 a month and I simply cannot afford it. I’m a 32 year old, single father of 2 children. This loan was for a certificate program for a non accredited school. I cannot find any refinancing options on the internet. What are my options for refinancing or somehow lowering my payments? Thank you in advance.


#2

Hi, Jeff, and welcome to the community! I’ll ask one of our student loan experts to weigh in, but in the meantime, here’s a link to NerdWallet’s student loan refinancing offers:

As the page notes, you’ll need credit scores that are in the high 600s, if not higher, plus a steady income, or a co-signer if you can’t meet those criteria.

Please let us know if that works for you or if you have any follow-up questions.


#3

@jeff.casebolt24, thanks for visiting. We agree that’s a steep interest rate.

If you aren’t already auto-paying your loans, doing so could decrease your interest rate by 0.25. I doubt that’s the kind of savings you had in mind, though.

I’d suggest calling customer service to ask about options for paying less. Repayment plans for private loans vary by lender, and they may offer something that could help. Any plan that decreases what you pay each month will likely do so by increasing how much you pay overall. You also may be able to pause payments using forbearance, but that is a short-term solution that adds to your debt, too.

I know you said you couldn’t find any refinancing options. Is the hurdle the non-accreditation of your school? One lender that does not appear to require attendance at a Title IV school is Citizens One; most others do.

If you’ve found that lenders are unwilling to qualify you financially, do you have a family member who would co-sign with you? It takes pretty good credit to refinance (700+ credit score), plus a fairly low debt-to-income ratio. But after a couple of years of payments, you might be able to refinance again on your own (or release your co-signer).

Hopefully, this helps. Let me know if we can help any further.