Sallie Mae Won’t Help Me Lower My Interest Rate

“Dear Steve,

Student loans from 1997 at 8.5% fixed rate when consolidated federal loans. I cannot get any help from Sallie Mae to reduce my interest rates. I don’t want to refi with a personal loan because I’ve been laid off three times during my career. I tried Income based for one year reduced my loan amount $100 but now extended my loan another 2 years, I am 52 years old and will be paying this after my retirement, if I have one.

How do I get Sallie Mae to reduce my current fixed 8.5% student loan rate. Currently owe $29,000 but will be paying back $49,000 after 30 yrs. I’ve been paying since 1998 never missed pymt only deferred when unemployed three times.


Dear Jackie,

I’m assuming these are federal loans. If that is correct then you are not going to get the rate changed much. There is no perfect solution or real loan forgiveness outside of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. More information on available programs can be found here.

Income Based Repayment programs will reduce payment but outside of a lower monthly payment now, the benefit is really not found for 25 years when the balance of the loan is forgiven.

An 8.5% rate is pretty darn good in this market.

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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.
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