Graduated From Princeton? Here’s How to Repay Your Loans

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Refinancing rates from 1.89% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

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As part of the prestigious Ivy League, graduating from Princeton University can set you up for a bright future. Although Princeton has the reputation to jump start your career, getting a degree from the university isn’t cheap. The total cost of attendance is over $67,000 a year.

Even though Princeton is known for its generous financial aid programs, you still probably had to use federal or private student loans to fill the gap and pay for school. That can mean graduating with a large student loan balance, which could put a lot of pressure on you to find a job and start making payments.

Although your loans are overwhelming, you can take control of your debt. Here’s how to manage your Princeton University student loans.

1. Identify what loans you have

To pay for school, you might have taken out several different loans from various lenders. Each loan could have different repayment terms and loan servicers, so it’s important to find out what loans you have and who they’re with.

If you’re not sure who your lender is, you can find out in one of two ways:

As a graduate from Princeton, you could have one or more of following loans:

Federal loans

Federal loans include Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct Plus Loans. Depending on your educational level and your needs, you could have many different forms of federal loans.

Princeton Subsidized Loan

If you exhausted your federal options and still needed a loan to cover your costs, the school offers a needs-based Princeton Subsidized Loan. With these loans, Princeton University is your lender, rather than the government or a private company.

These loans tend to have lower interest rates, and because they’re subsidized, the school covers the interest that accrues while you’re in school. For the 2016-17 school year, Princeton Subsidized Loans offered a 5% fixed interest rate. Repayment begins nine months after graduation.

Princeton Parent Loan

To help you pay for school, your parents might have taken out a Princeton Parent Loan (PPL) directly through the school.

Although you aren’t legally responsible for this type of debt, you might still have an agreement with your parents to help make payments. Make sure you talk to your family about their expectations and their own financial situation.

Private loans

If you exhausted federal and school-based student aid options, you might have had to turn to private student loans to pay for the remaining balance. Private loan terms vary from lender to lender. Find out who your loan servicer is by checking your credit report, then contact them for more information.

2. Learn about your options

Now that you’ve taken stock of what you owe, figure out a plan for how you’ll pay it off. Here’s how to better manage your debt.

Income-driven repayment plans

If you have federal student loans and can’t keep up with your payments on your current salary, you could be eligible for an income-driven repayment plan. Under an IDR plan, the government extends your repayment term and caps your monthly payment at a percentage of your discretionary income.

Signing up for IDR can dramatically reduce your payment. Depending on which IDR plan you sign up for, the government will even forgive any remaining loan balance after you make qualifying payments for 20 or 25 years (if you have any debt left over.

However, keep in mind that you will be paying interest on your debt for much longer with this method. That can cost you hundreds or even thousands more than it would have on a Standard Repayment Plan. Learn more about the benefits and possible drawbacks of IDR before enrolling.

Loan consolidation

If you can afford your monthly student loan bill, but have difficulty keeping track of your different federal loan payments, one option to consider is a Direct Consolidation Loan. The government will consolidate your loans into one big loan. This will make your new interest rate a weighted average of your combined loans.

With this approach, you have just one loan servicer and one monthly payment to keep track of, making managing your loans a little easier. You can apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan online for free in as little as 30 minutes.

While consolidation can be a good strategy for managing your loans, there are some drawbacks. Consolidating your loans could extend the repayment term. That means you’ll pay more in interest over the life of your loans. At the very least, you won’t save any money.

In addition, if you plan to pursue federal forgiveness programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), consolidating your loans may start the clock over. Any payments you made toward forgiveness might not count.

Assistance and forgiveness programs

Unlike other Ivy League schools, Princeton doesn’t offer assistance or forgiveness programs for alumni. However, you could be eligible for assistance from your state government or private organizations.

These programs may cover some or all of your remaining student loans. To find the right fit for you, check out this complete list of student loan repayment assistance programs.

Student loan refinancing

Princeton University graduates tend to have higher than average salaries; the median starting salary for Princeton alumni with a bachelor’s degree is $61,300, according to the Houston Chronicle. If you have high-interest student loans, that means you could be an excellent candidate for refinancing.

With refinancing, you work with a private lender to take out a new loan for the total amount of your current loans. The new loan will have different repayment terms than your current debt. You may have a reduced interest rate, lower monthly payment, or shorter/longer repayment period.

Depending on your goals, refinancing can be a significant help. If your goal is to save money, getting a lower interest rate can help you pay off your debt faster — saving you thousands over the length of your loan.

However, you should carefully consider all of your options before refinancing, particularly if you have federal loans. Make sure you understand the potential drawbacks of refinancing your student loans before applying.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

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Managing your Princeton student loans

Although a degree from Princeton University can be a huge asset, it can also leave you with significant student loan debt. Make sure you understand all of your options and come up with a plan to manage your loans. By being proactive, you can take control of your loans to become debt free more quickly.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.89% – 6.66%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.99% – 5.34%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.97% – 8.54%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of October 1, 2020.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of December 1, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% 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 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% 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. See eligibility details. 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. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 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: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. 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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% 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 October 26, 2020, 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 10/26/2020. 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 https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 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.


5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com 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 LendKey.com. 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 LendKey.com 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.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 11/13/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.97% to 8.54% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.