Your Ultimate Guide to Paying Off Debt

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Debt can hang over your head like a toxic cloud. Even if you haven’t done the actual math, somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re aware that things are quickly adding up.

Whatever is making your debts feel scary, out of control, or even unfair, it’s time to address it. And it all starts with learning how to pay off debt.

So get ready to spend a lot of mental, emotional and financial capital to resolve your debts by going through the following steps.

How to pay off debt in 15 steps

1. Admit your debts are an issue

Figuring out how to pay off debt often starts with admitting there’s a problem.

Sometimes you’re not even aware of how big the problem is. You just have a nagging sense that something’s not quite right with your finances. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to financial red flags and when you’re potentially getting too deep into debt.

For me, everything came to a head in 2012. At this point, I’d been stressed out about my family’s finances for a while. But when I stared at my Mint account and saw that the bank accounts my husband and I held only had $1,450 combined, I officially freaked out.

This amount was barely enough to cover our next month’s rent for our one-bedroom, Los Angeles apartment. And I knew we owed several times more than that on credit cards alone.

Meanwhile, I was unemployed. So that meant we were trying to scrape by on my husband’s $45,000 salary in this expensive city.

Thinking about my finances made me want to collapse in on myself and stop existing. But I needed to start seeing, in black and white, that I had a problem — and it was my debts.

2. Find out how much you owe

Before you can start digging your way out, you need to know just how deep in the hole you are.

Take inventory of your debts — the total balance, interest rates, and minimum monthly payments. For the debts you’re aware of and have account information for, you can get your debt details in a few ways:

  • Log into your lender’s online account management system.
  • Find your most recent account statements.
  • Contact your lender by phone.

If you think you might have debts you’ve lost track of, work to find them. Pull your free annual credit reports, then check for debts and accounts you might have missed. For student loans, you can use the National Student Loan Data System to find any educational debts that have fallen off your radar.

When I realized that my debt had become an issue, I took a full inventory. Here’s what I found:

  • There were our student loans — $26,000 from my husband’s graduate degree and $9,000 remaining on my undergraduate debt.
  • We owed $8,500 on our car.
  • Credit card debts of $1,700 and $4,000 from miscellaneous college expenses and moving costs.

In total, we owed $49,200. It was terrifying.

3. Commit to getting out of debt

Just thinking about how much I owed stirs up old financial panic and anxiety. I felt like a total failure for getting into debt. At the same time, I also felt powerless.

Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how I could have covered important expenses without debt. I told myself debt had been my only option. And after a couple of months of unemployment, I was feeling worthless and at my wit’s end with the job search.

But even as I was feeling scared and panicked, I decided to harness these big emotions into a powerful driving force for change.

You can do the same to get ready to make big changes in your behaviors and situation. Remember, it’s the combination of your choices and circumstances that got you into debt. And you’re going to need to do a complete 180 on those factors to figure out how to pay off debt.

Look, getting out of debt doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you’re intensely focused on this goal, this is not an issue you’ll be able to immediately resolve. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll need to be mentally tough and capable of dealing with debt payoff for months – likely years – to come.

4. Reduce what you owe

For certain types of debt, it’s possible to lower the initial amount you owe.

If you have medical debts, you can try to negotiate your medical bill and ask if any of it can be forgiven. And if you owe money to a doctor or hospital, ask about financial assistance programs. You can offer to pay cash for a portion of the bill and have the remaining balance forgiven. If that fails, try to set up a payment plan that fits your needs.

You can also try to negotiate any debts in collections. Again, you can offer to pay a portion of your debt in cash to have the remaining balance forgiven. Not every negotiation will be successful, but it’s worth a shot.

5. Try to lower interest rates

If you can lower interest rates, you’ll make your debts cheaper.

That’s because more of the money you put towards them will go toward the principal you owe. You’ll pay down debts faster and save money in the process.

There are a few ways you can try to lower your interest rates, and the options vary depending on the types of debts you have.

Refinance or consolidate debts. 

When you refinance or consolidate debts, you take out a new loan and use it to pay off other debts. This replaces existing debt with a new loan that has a lower interest rate and can simplify your debts.

You can do this with most kinds of debt, including refinancing student loans, credit card debt, a mortgage, or a car loan.

Credit card balance transfer.

If you have a credit card debt on a high-interest card, you can transfer this balance to a card with a lower APR to save on interest.

This can be especially effective if you get a new credit card with a 0% introductory APR. You can transfer the balance and get several months to pay it down, interest-free.

Negotiate interest rates.

Finally, you can call your credit card company and ask for a lower credit card rate. In many cases, your issuer will lower your APR indefinitely.

And if you can’t negotiate that, then ask for a temporary drop in your interest rate while you work to pay down the balance. Typically, only rates for revolving credit like a credit card are negotiable. Rates on installment loans usually can’t be lowered without refinancing.

6. Identify which debts are most urgent

When you add up your debts, it can be nauseating to realize how much you’ve accumulated. But it’s also important to realize that not every single debt is an emergency.

Therefore, don’t put pressure on yourself to solve the issue overnight. It will take a lot of hard work and time to pay off your debts. Here’s are the debts that are more urgent than others when it comes to paying them off.

High-interest debts.

If you have high-interest debts, these are the ones you need to worry about. Identify which debts are costing you the most and treat those like an emergency.

For instance, I knew I wasn’t going to figure out how to pay off debt that was a staggering $49,200 right away — especially not on $45,000 a year in a high-cost city.

But of those debts, only my credit card balances had interest rates over 6% APR. And these were costing me almost $100 a month in interest, which I definitely couldn’t afford. So paying off this credit card debt became priority No. 1.

Overdue debts or debts in collections.  

Other urgent debts will be accounts for which you are overdue, delinquent, defaulted, or in debt collection. These take priority because you want to:

  • Stop accruing more costs like late fees, collection fees, or penalty APRs.
  • Prevent serious consequences like wage garnishment or bank liens.
  • Avoid further damage to your credit and begin repairing it.

For low-interest debts, it’s ok to just pay the minimums for now. And if there are other debts you’re not legally obligated to pay, then don’t.

For example, if it’s an informal loan from a family member or friend, talk to them and see if you can put repayment on hold. If the debts are in someone else’s name, stop contributing to it.

Even if you feel responsible for the debt, you have no legal obligation to pay. Maybe you can pick up payments on these debts at some point, but for now, you can’t afford them.

7. Target your most urgent debt first

One of the most popular and effective strategies to repay debts is through the debt snowball method. It breaks down how to pay off debt into four steps:

  • Focus on paying down one balance at a time — starting with the lowest balance.
  • Make extra monthly payments on this debt until it’s gone.
  • When that debt is gone, you keep paying the same amount toward the next debt. So, if you pay $200 extra a month toward a credit card with a $50 minimum, once that debt is gone you’d start paying $250 extra toward your next debt.
  • Continue paying off debts until you’re debt free!

Since you know which debt is the most urgent, make efforts to pay it down. Whatever you pay, the key is just to get started. Even an extra $20 a month can help.

8. Figure out your bare-bones budget

To figure this out, you need to go over your budget.

You already know the minimum payments towards debt each month. Add it up, then add in other living expenses including rent or mortgage, gas or transportation, food and groceries, and insurance premiums. Review your recent bank account statements to see where your money has been going.

After your necessary expenses, look at what’s left over from your paychecks each month — this is your disposable income. This is money you can decide how to use because it doesn’t have to be spent on bills.

It’s possible that there might not be much left over. Maybe you’re in the red just from covering necessities, and that’s how you got into debt in the first place. In our case, my husband’s salary was barely enough to cover basic living expenses and bills.

Don’t get too stressed at this point. You can still try other ways to come up with extra funds for repaying debt.

9. Find savings on fixed expenses

Next, it’s time to look for ways to cut the fat from your budget. Even with the “needs” in your budget, there can be ways to save.

Audit your spending and look for ways to downsize and cut back. It won’t be forever, and if you find ways to save on recurring costs, you’ll keep reaping the rewards each month.

For us, this meant finding the cheapest apartment in a neighborhood close enough to my husband’s workplace that he could commute by bike. Our rent was (relatively) affordable, and we could remain a one-car family (which we still are to this day).

We also shopped around for better prices on monthly bills like phone service and car insurance.

10. Control your spending

If you have some disposable income but always seem to spend it, track where this money goes. What are the wants or non-necessities you’re always shelling out for? Can you reduce or skip these expenses to pay off debts instead?

I had been keeping my hair short enough to require a haircut every six weeks. But at $70 a cut, plus tip, I could no longer justify this cost. It was time to let it grow out. I also targeted spending on clothing, dining out, and non-essential groceries.

And the negative feelings surrounding my debt helped keep my spending in check. Because I was so anxious about my debts (and money in general), I was on edge anytime I bought anything.

This wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it did increase my awareness of each dollar that went into and out of our bank accounts. And that made shopping feel less rewarding than saving.

11. Increase your income

There is only so far you can cut back before you hit a barrier on your actual cost of living. That’s when it’s time to find extra money on the other end of the equation: increasing your income.

If income is the problem, hunt down opportunities to grow it:

  • Increase your pay at your current job. Offer to pick up overtime or ask how you can work toward a raise.
  • Hunt for new jobs and opportunities to see if you can get a competing offer with a higher wage.
  • Consider starting a side hustle or second job to boost your earnings.

This was the basis of our whole financial crisis. I already knew my solution for how to pay off debt: I needed a job, like, yesterday. Now I found new motivation to fight my unemployment.

I started treating my job search like a job. I spent at least six hours a day hunting down job leads, sending out applications, and following up. Finally, I got an offer — with a decent salary that nearly doubled our income.

12. Put “extra” money toward debts

When additional money comes along by chance, smart budgeting, or new income — keep your spending at the same level. Instead of spending more, pay off debts with extra money from:

  • Cash gifts
  • Savings from cutting expenses
  • Months with a third paycheck (if paid biweekly)
  • Bonuses or raises
  • Income from second jobs
  • Tax refunds

After I had been hired, we loosened our budget just enough to ease the worst of our financial stress. But we stopped there, making it a point to live on half our income. We used the rest of our earnings to rebuild savings and pay extra on our debts.

13. Choose the debt strategy that works for you

You know which debts are the ones you should pay off first — the one with the highest rates or that are in collections. As mentioned above, the debt snowball method is a popular one for debt repayment that can give you the quick wins you need to stay motivated.

But there are a few other popular debt strategies you can use to target your most dangerous debt:

  • Debt avalanche, which targets debts with the highest interest rates first. This saves you the most in interest over time.
  • Debt snowflaking, which is about making smaller, incremental payments toward debts.
  • Debt chunking, where you make extra payments in large lump sums.

Each of these debt repayment strategies has its benefits and drawbacks. The most important factor in choosing how to pay off debt, however, is you.

While the debt avalanche saves the most money over time, that doesn’t automatically make it the best strategy if you find it hard to stick to. Many people find the quick wins of a debt snowball give them an important reward and boost their commitment to debt repayment.

Be honest with yourself and how you approach your money. Take the time to consider which strategy will keep you motivated.

I had a hard time unwinding my financial anxiety. I paid a little extra toward our debts each month but was too timid to make the max payments possible.

But after a while, we had saved a bit and had more of a buffer in our bank account. Then I felt comfortable “chunking” our debts with larger, one-off payments. Seeing our debts drop by thousands at a time was an awesome high. Plus, it got me craving more.

14. Stay motivated and track your progress

While you will have some wins as you work to get out of debt, there can be months at a time where the progress feels slow.

Tracking your progress and keeping your eyes on the prize will help you stay on track. Try to mix things up if you hit a slump in your get-out-of-debt plan.

  • Use a debt payoff app to track your progress and play with different payoff methods.
  • Set a regular financial check-up to review your debts and adjust your budget.
  • Get a debt pay-off buddy to keep you accountable and encourage you when the going gets rough.
  • Create a physical way to see your progress toward debt repayment. Maybe put up post-it notes on a door with each square representing $100 in debt — and you get to take one down for each $100 you repay.
  • Pair debt payments with a reward through temptation bundling.
  • Read other people’s debt success stories to get inspiration and remind yourself of your goals.

15. Push through setbacks

As you work toward repaying debts, there might be problems that crop up and set back your goals, such as an emergency expense or hardship like unemployment. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments when necessary so you can work to recover and get your finances back on track.

Just a couple months after I started at my job, my husband’s hours got cut from full-time to 25 hours a week. It was discouraging and derailed our debt repayment.

But we adjusted our budget and scaled back spending. And my husband picked up a freelance job to compensate for his lost income, while also looking for a new position.

Since we had already worked on our finances and kept our expenses low, we were much better prepared to weather this setback. Instead of panicking, we could take this pay cut in stride.

Within a few months, my husband had a new job — and we’d managed to eliminate our $5,700 in credit card debt. Not bad for someone who was curled up in the fetal position about her debts only a year prior.

Pay off debt for the payoff of financial freedom

If your debts seem like a huge deal, it’s probably because they are. Instead of reacting to financial stress with overspending or flawed financial coping mechanism, be proactive. You will get results.

In the five years since my debt wake-up call, I’ve repaid over $35,000 on those debts. Plus, I learned a lot about myself and my money management as I worked to pay off debts.

Take it from me: working on how to pay off debt is well worth the reward of financial freedom, peace of mind, and healthier money habits.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit, email us at, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.

Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.

3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance:
    Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 7.979% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.470% APR to 6.990% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.470% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.30% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.

5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.

All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of November 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.29%. Variable interest rates range from 2.79%-8.39% (2.79%-8.39% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a cosigner will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.

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