I am 35 and have recently completed a PhD and, while I am an American citizen, I did my MA and PhD in the UK and have lived here for the past 12 years (I am now a dual citizen). I am a working mom with a 3 year old and another baby on the way. With the weakening of the pound, my salary which is considered a good salary here now only converts to $45k!! Unfortunately for me, when I took out US student loans the pound was nearly twice as strong. I have about $125k of student loans (ranging from 6.5-7.5% interest!!). A few years ago my father passed away and my inheritance is in an IRA and about $89k. Whenever I take out money from it, it is officially taxable so taking one lump sum is not a real option, but I could take it out over 2-3 years and pay off a large chunk of my student debt. But, by doing that, I lose all my savings. Its not making any money in this market so I feel like I am losing money on it.
Being British means I have free healthcare for life (wohoo) - so contingency plans are not as dire here. I have a pension through my work I started a few years ago and my husband and I own our flat (with a mortgage) which, while we would like to sell and move to a new place is not happening while there is such political uncertainty in the market (Brexit!).
My question is - do I pay off a chunk of the student loan (and how much?), Part of it is with Naviant and part with Great Lakes - do I consolidate? Try a repayment scheme and accept that some will be written off in 25 years? Do I refinance and hope for a better interest rate that is under 6%?
I am feeling at a loss and a bit overwhelmed - I don’t want to mess up and do the wrong thing with my inheritance, which feels like I would be doing wrong by my father in some way. Any clarity would help!