Options for resolving your student loan debt

Olive Branch Financial does not employ student loan advisers and does not offer student loan assistance. This information is only intended to provide you with knowledge about your options. Please speak with your student loan provider or counselor about your options.

So, you did it. You graduated college. The hardest part is over, or so you thought. You're out of school but now you're staring down student debt in the tens of thousands and unsure of how you'll ever be able to pay it off. 

 

It's a scary reality and one that increasingly more people are facing every year.  Roughly one in four American adults are paying off student loans, with the average debt size at graduation nearing $40,000. That kind of money could be a downpayment for a house, a new car, even enough to bootstrap your own business. 

While we can't help you resolve your 

student debt, we can help point you in the right direction. We've compiled resources from around the web related to federal and private student loan relief options. Check them out and let us know what you think on our Facebook page. 

Federal Student Loans

If you have to take out student loans, we believe that federal loans are the generally best option. This is because they often carry lower interest rates than private loans and have more repayment options for students. 

 

Depending on your situation, you may qualify for one of the repayment programs offered by Federal Student Aid (an office of the U.S. Department of Education). These programs can reduce your payments, term, and sometimes even your principal balance. These programs can all be completed for free, directly through the Department of Education. If you have questions about what you qualify for and how to apply, we recommend contacting the Federal Student Aid department directly at 1-800-433-3243. 

 

  • Income-Driven Repayment Plan: Most federal student loans are eligible for at least one income-driven repayment plan. If your income is low enough, your payment could be as low as $0 per month. Even better, the term ranges between 20 and 25 years. If your income never increases, and you continue to meet the requirements of your plan, you could end up getting partial loan forgiveness. Learn more about this program here

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work full-time for a government organization or not-for-profit, you may be eligible for this program. Think of this benefit as an 'add-on' to the income-driven repayment plans. In order to qualify to have the remaining balance on your debts forgiven you must make 120 qualifying payments (10 years). Learn more about this program here

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: If you teach full-time for 5 complete and consecutive years in a low-income school, educational service agency, or meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on certain federal loans. Learn more about this program here

 

These are only a few of the many benefits offered by the Department of Education. Find out what repayment program is right for you by using the Repayment Estimator on the Federal Student Aid website. 

 

Private Student Loans

Private student loans don't have to offer the same protections and repayment options as federal options. Unfortunately, this means that these borrowers face a greater risk of student loan default. Thankfully, you still have options for repaying these debts. We outline a couple of these options below, but to fully understand your options you should contact your lender. 

  • Request assistance: If you're having trouble keeping up with loan payments or have missed payments, don't ignore the problem. Reach out to your lender and inquire about your options. Some lenders will offer forbearance or may temporarily adjust your payments to allow you to catch-up. There's no guarantee that your lender will work with you, but it's absolutely worth a shot. Consider sending this letter (prepared by the CFPB) to your lender.

  • Refinance your loans: If you're unable to pay off your student loan in full, you might look into getting a new loan with a better interest rate and term. There are many companies out that have loan programs tailored to refinancing private student loans, such as Commonbond.

  • Consider settling: If you've defaulted on your private loans and they're in collections but have no judgment, another option might settle your student debts. Usually, you do this by speaking with the debt collector and negotiating a lump sum or installment repayment for a portion of the debt. Try to get them to name a figure first, then don't be afraid to talk them down.

 

 

If you're struggling to repay your private student loans you may want to reach out to a financial counselor to assist you in exploring your options. 

Additional tips

Whether you're paying off federal or private student loans, these tips can help you get through the process quicker and with less stress.

 

  • Take advantage of your grace period: Depending on your lender, you may be granted a grace period after you graduate, where you are not required to make payments on your loans. Resist the temptation to ignore your debt during this period. Do your research on your repayment options, create a game plan and, if possible, start making payments towards your debt right away. 

  • Continue living the 'college lifestyle': You probably lived quite simply in college (lots of ramen noodles and cheap, used furniture), so why stop now? The longer you can continue living a simple, low overhead, lifestyle, the faster you can repay your student loans. Keep your roommate, forgo the expensive restaurant for a potluck with friends, and remember new shoes look great for 6 months, but no debt looks great for life.

  • Stick to a budget: It's tempting to live life without a budget. Who likes to dig through their expenses and refrain from spending anyways? But budgeting for debt repayment can you thousands of dollars in interest in the long run. Make sure you budget to make more than your minimum monthly payment each month. 

  • Deduct your interest: Don't forget to deduct your student loan interest this tax season. You can reduce your taxable income by up to $2,500 on any interest you paid for that tax year. Your lender should provide you with this information, but you can also request it or get it online.

  • Pick the right employer: Many employers will now help contribute to the repayment of their employee's student loans. If you're looking for a new job, make sure you ask if this benefit is offered. Additionally, consider volunteering with certain non-profit organizations that offer some type of student loan forgiveness (such as Teach for America, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps). 

  • Use technology: The digital age is amazing. There's tons of online resources that can help you pay down your student loans. One such company is Upromise. They offer a simple and free way to put a small amount of money towards your loans and you can earn cash back. 

Olive Branch Financial does not employ student loan advisers and does not offer student loan assistance. This information is only intended to provide you with knowledge about your options. Please speak with your student loan provider or counselor about your options.

Olive Branch Financial LP

info@olivebranchfin.com

Contact: +1-657-900-5997

Hours of Operation:

7:00 am - 7:00 pm (PST)

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Saturday

Off hours available by appointment. 

Closed on Federal Holidays

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Olive Branch Financial is a debt settlement company that operates in some but not all states in the United States, Olive Branch Financial does not accept any clients who do not meet with a consultant for an in-person consultation. If you reside in a state that we do not accept clients in, we may be able to refer you to another company for assistance. 


Olive Branch Financial negotiates unsecured debts on behalf of its clients and does not assume its clients’ debts, make monthly payments to creditors on clients’ behalf, or give clients tax, bankruptcy, accounting, or legal advice. We do not provide credit repair services. Please contact a tax professional to discuss potential tax consequences associated with settling debts for less than the full balance. Please read and understand all of Olive Branch Financial’s Program requirements and Olive Branch Financial’s service agreement before enrolling into Olive Branch Financial’s Program.


The use of debt settlement services will likely adversely affect your creditworthiness, may result in the balances of your enrolled debts increasing due to the accrual of legal fees and interest on your accounts and you being subject to collections actions or lawsuits brought by your creditors. The settlements we negotiate on behalf of our clients resolve the entire account, including all accrued interest and fees. We cannot guarantee that we will resolve your debts and results will vary based on your individual circumstances.