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My International Academy of Design and Technology Student Loan Debt is Following Me Forever

By on February 26, 2018

Question:

Dear Steve,

I attended International Academy of Design and Technology in Orlando, FL starting in 2006, and like most, took out student loans with Sallie Mae (now Navient) to help pay for the education.

The school assured my parents and myself that they would be accredited for Interior Design by the time I graduated, however, after my first year, they failed the accreditation. I was also made to take elective courses that had nothing to do with my degree (ie, I was an interior design major and had to take criminal justice).

The classes were designed to where if you showed up, you passed. It didn’t matter how good your work was (or wasn’t). After about a year a half (and still no accreditation), I decided to leave. However, now over a decade later, I have massive student loan debt.

My husband and I are trying to buy our first house while taking care of two young children. I have $33,000 worth of student loan debt from years of deferment and interest accruing.

I pay nearly $300 a month and my balance goes up every month due to my entire payment going to pay interest and nothing to the principal.

Is there something I can do to fix this situation? I’ve looked at refinancing the loans with a different lender, but it will extend my loan terms out 240 months! Any advice?

Dawn

Answer:

Dear Dawn,

According to the Federal School Code List of 2007, the school was approved by the Department of Education so your student loans could not be easily discharged in bankruptcy.

With the upcoming home purchase, I’m not sure bankruptcy is what you are looking to do at the moment to deal with the debt.

You’ve astutely noted the periods of deferment have exploded the balance. You have two choices. If these are federal student loans you could consolidate them into a new Direct Consolidation Loan and opt for an income-driven repayment plan like the IBR, or if these are private student loans you could refinance them to give you a lower monthly payment over a longer period of time. You will pay more that way but it will lower your monthly payment.

READ  Want to Pay a Lot for College But Never Graduate? Go to a For-Profit University.

The income-driven repayment approach will cause you to potentially inflate the balance as well and as of now, you’ll end up a possible big tax bill at the end of 25 years. See this post.

Let me know in the comments below if these are federal or private loans. If you can’t figure it out, let me know and I’ll show you how to do that.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

3 Comments

  1. Dawn

    February 26, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Thank you Steve. My loans are a mix of both federal and private but all with Navient.

    • Steve Rhode

      February 26, 2018 at 10:47 am

      So you’d have to take a hybrid approach. If you refinance your federal loans into a new private loan you will lose any flexible repayment options available to federal loans.

  2. Dawn

    February 26, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Asked question about IADT student loan debt.

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