How to pay off $300,000 in student debt


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If you’re wondering how to pay off $300,000 in student debt, here are 4 repayment strategies you can use. (Shutterstock)

Leaving college with six-figure student loans can be overwhelming, but paying off that debt is possible. With the right repayment strategies, you don’t have to struggle with a lifetime of student debt.

Refinancing is an option to help you pay off your debt. By visiting Credible, you can learn more about refinancing student loans and compare rates from several private student lenders.

How much is $300,000 in debt?

When you take out a loan, your principal, interest rate, and repayment terms will affect how much that debt will end up costing you. For example, if you have a high interest rate or a longer repayment term, you will end up paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Student loan debt can be complicated because most borrowers take out multiple loans to pay for their education. And you can have a combination of several federal and private loans at varying interest rates.

Here’s a look at what you could expect to pay for $300,000 in total student loan debt with all your loans on a 10-year repayment plan:

In this scenario, with student loan debt of $362,000 at these variable interest rates, your total cost would be $497,224. Paying off these loans as soon as possible will help minimize interest charges.


How to repay $300,000 in student loans

When you take out a student loan, interest charges can add up quickly. If you are looking for ways to pay over $300,000 in student debt, here are four strategies you can implement.

Debt avalanche method

The debt avalanche method focuses on paying off debt with the highest interest rate first. The goal is to reduce the total amount of interest you end up paying.

Using the previous student loan example, you will start by investing all the extra money you have into the debt of $138,000. This debt happens to be the largest, but you will make extra payments because it has the highest interest rate.

You will continue to make minimum payments on your other three loans. Once that loan is paid off, you will allocate that money to the loan with the highest interest rate, which is the $66,000 loan.


Debt Snowball Method

The debt snowball method focuses on paying off your smallest debt first. So, using the example above, you’ll start by investing all the extra money you have into the $57,500 student loan and make minimum payments on the rest.

Once this loan is paid off, you will use this money for the $66,000 loan. The idea is that you create a snowball effect and see progress faster if you pay off the smallest debt first. But you might end up paying more interest with this method.

Consider refinancing your debt at a lower interest rate. You can easily compare prequalified rates from several lenders using Credible.

loan forgiveness

Some federal borrowers may qualify for student loan forgiveness. When your loans are cancelled, you are no longer required to repay the balance. Several types of loan cancellation are available:

  • Civil Service Loan Waiver (PSLF): The PSLF is available to federal student borrowers who are employed full-time by a government or non-profit organization. Once you have made 120 qualifying payments, your loan balance is forgiven.
  • Teacher loan forgiveness: The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is available to teachers who work full-time for five consecutive years at a low-income school. If you qualify, you could receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
  • Defense of the borrower until reimbursement: If you have taken out loans and attended a school that misled you or committed any type of misconduct, you may be eligible to have those loans canceled through Borrower Defense of Reimbursement.


One of the challenges of paying off a student loan is having multiple loans with varying interest rates. One way to deal with this is to refinance your loans into a single loan with a lower interest rate.

But keep in mind that if you refinance federal loans into a private loan, you will lose access to certain borrower protections, including income-contingent repayment (IDR) plans and loan forgiveness. . And if you have bad credit, you may need apply with a co-signer.


How long will it take to pay off $300,000 in student loans?

All federal student loans start with a standard repayment term of 10 years, unless you sign up for a different repayment plan. IDR plans, for example, allow you to extend your repayment term and receive a more manageable monthly payment.

However, by extending the repayment term, you might end up paying more interest. The repayment term you receive on private loans will depend on your lender.

Paying off six figures of student loan debt may seem like a daunting task, but you can find ways to do it. By refinancing on a shorter term and making additional payments, you can pay off your loans faster and reduce the total amount paid in interest. If you have federal student loans, you should see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.

To start refinancing your student loans, visit Credible and compare prequalified rates from several lenders.


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