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The Agent
Mar 10, 2008

The face of three franchises


I graduated school last May (2010) and moved from Ohio, where I went to school, out to the DC area shortly after graduation to start my new job. I kept up with my student loans and the repayment expectations and timeframes pretty well throughout school so I wouldn't be surprised when my grace period was over in November/December. I had taken out many separate federal loans in a mix of unsubsidized and subsidized that are now treated as one loan since they're all at 6.8%, all out of grace period, and all being serviced by Direct Loan Servicing. I also had two smaller private loans through Discover bank (I've since paid off one that was at a higher rate than the federal loans). I had received letters every few months from Discover and DLS about interest capitalization and debt balances, and went through exit counseling on both of them. Needless to say, I was informed about the payments, due dates, and balances on these loans, and started paying them all in December, and had no problems up until two months ago...

In March, my dad received a letter from ECSI stating I was a month (but only 1 month) past due on a federal Perkins loan in the amount of $2,500. I was surprised as I didn't remember taking out a Perkins loan, although I didn't rule it out on the basis that especially when I started out college, I relied on my dad a lot to help me get through the financial aid process as I was a dumb 18 year old who had no idea what I was doing at that point. My dad didn't remember helping me with a perkins loan, although since I started school in fall 2004, either/both of us could have forgotten.

A couple things bother me:
1. March is 10 months after I graduated which would mean ECSI would have been expecting payment after a 9 month grace period. I just assumed all student loans (or at least federal ones) had a six month grace period.
2. I found an email (that I also evidently forgot about - I am a forgetful person) from ECSI dated January 13, 2011 thanking me for enrolling in the e-bill program, however my payment was late in March and I never received an email stating a payment was declined.

The amount of the loan is small compared to the rest of my student debt, and I don't even really care about one late payment as I bought a car last August and have no intention of buying a home or other large purchase in anything resembling the near future. However, I would like to make sure that it isn't a scam or this at least sounds normal before I pay off a $2500 loan that I didn't really realize was there until it was late (aside from that January email). Edit - I have paid two payments + the late fee, but I guess I'm just thinking more about it now since it's the next loan I am going to pay off.

Thanks in advance for any info/advice.

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The Agent
Mar 10, 2008

The face of three franchises


Just got on the new federal loans website, and on some of my loans under the benefits there are things listed which I have no idea what they mean. Their descriptions say:

DL REBATE NEGATIVE PR FOR LTP

and

DL ACTIVE DUTY HDS 100% IR

I googled them, some people were guessing the second one had something to do with the military, but I'm not and never have been involved in any form of military service, and neither has any of my immediate family. I've also got the 0.25% Kwikpay (electronic debit) bonus listed on there so I know neither of those benefits are related to that. Anyone know what these might be?

The Agent
Mar 10, 2008

The face of three franchises


I'm currently in repayment on a mixture of unsubsidized and subsidized Federal student loans, which since I'm in repayment, are basically one in the same. I'm making good progress on repayment, but I am wondering if I should ever choose to go back to school (or heaven forbid need a forbearance), would the interest on subsidized loans go back to being subsidized? Or is it once you enter repayment, interest accrues until you repay the balance whether it is subsidized or not? Thanks!

The Agent
Mar 10, 2008

The face of three franchises


I have just under $40,000 left on my federal student loans at 6.55% (after autopay interest deduction). I know that it is possible to consolidate the federal loans, but it looks like all they do is take the weighted average and make it into one payment, which since they're all the same rate and one payment already, would do absolutely nothing for me.

Is there any lender that would refinance the federal loans or am I just screwed paying the 6.55%? It seems like interest rates are lower for everything (cars, mortgages, etc.) except credit cards but I know student loans are different since there is no collateral. I have a decent 401(k) and my car is worth more than I owe, would it be possible/worth it to take loans out against them to get into a lower rate? I'm not having trouble making the payments, just trying to get this interest down because as it stands I'm paying like $250 a month in interest which I know isn't as bad as some but it's really annoying to me to have almost half of my payment go toward interest.

The Agent
Mar 10, 2008

The face of three franchises


Wiggy Marie posted:

The Agent, that's pretty standard, payments are disclosed to roughly go half and half to interest versus principal. As I mentioned above, I don't normally recommend taking out different kinds of loans to pay these off because there's a lot of benefits to them that you don't get with other loans. But it's a possibility for people who can afford it and would be a better deal.

Maybe I'm dumb, but what benefits are there to the federal loans? Apart from being unable to discharge them during bankruptcy I didn't know they were much different than property loans (apart from not having collateral). You mention refinancing might be an option, any advice on where to start or who to ask about it?

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