Student Loans

   With the rising cost of college, many families are facing even greater student loan debt burdens.  Currently student loan debt exceeds $1.4 trillion dollars.  This average debt for the Class of 2017 was $39,400, which is up 6% from the previous year. In 2010 student loan debt exceeded auto and credit card debt.  Those with graduate degrees are taking on  greatest debt levels.  They account for roughly 14% of students, yet they have around 40% of the student loans.  This would not be as bad if incomes had kept place  with outstanding debt, but this is not the case.   The outcome of all of this is that delinquencies are on the rise.  With all of this debt what options do you have:

Repayment Options:


Traditional Student Loan repayment plans is a fixed amount repayment option that is designed to have your loans paid off in 10 years.  

Because of the level nature of payments and 10 year repayment terms it will give you the highest payments.  

Payments do not qualify for PSLF.


The Extended Payment option allows you to pay off your loans over 25 years.  You must have at least $30,000 in outstanding loans to qualify.  

Your payments will be less that Traditional option, but you will pay more over the full term,  due to the extra interest paid.  

Payments do not qualify for PSLF.


Graduated payments are a repayment option where the payments start off at a lower amount and gradually increase throughout the payment term.  This option can be used with either Traditional or Extended options.  This can be a option for those that can not afford the regular payment amount in either Traditional or Extended, but are planning to payoff their loans.

Payments do not qualify for PSLF.

Income Based Repayment

There are several different income based repayment programs:  ICR, IBR (Old & New), PAYE, and REPAYE.  These programs are designed so that the borrower can base their payment on their income.  Which program you qualify for will depend on the type of loans you have along with how old they are.  These programs can also lead to loan forgives.

Public Student Loan Forgiveness

PSLF is a special program for not-for-profit and governmental employees.  It  allows these borrowers student loan forgiveness after they have made 120 qualified payments.  They must be in Income Based Repayment (IBR) to qualify. Currently forgiven loans under PSLF are not taxed.


Refinacing can be a good option for those who look to payoff their loans and not use one of the forgiveness programs.  It is used when the borrow can qualify for lower interest rates.  But make sure you understand all of the benefits you can be giving up with the federal programs before you make this choice.

Payments do not qualify for PSLF.

Avoid these 8 Mistakes of Student Loan Borrowers

  • Not understanding all of your options
  • Not considering IBR
  • Not understanding the tax consequences of loan forgiveness and preparing for it.  *Currently PSLF forgiven loans are not taxed.
  • check
    Not completing their annual income documentation
  • check
    Not understanding how their tax filing status (married) can affect payments
  • check
    Sacrificing retirement savings to pay off student loans. especially if there is a company match
  • check
    Not understanding different tax strategies and how that can affect IBR payments.
  • check
    Failing to automate payments

How can I Help?

   My desire to help student loan borrowers came about after seeing how these loans were impacting my clients and their children.  Before I  became a Certified Student Loan Advisor (CSLP), my thoughts about student loans would have probably been similar to how most people view loans.  That is you want to pay them off quickly and have the lowest rate possible.  Student loans can be much more complicated than this.  For many borrowers paying off their loans may not be a reality, and  for others the government has set up special programs to forgive their debts under special programs for their public service.

Why should you use a CLSP to help you to navigate your student loans, aren't signing up for these programs free?

 It is true, you can work directly with your loan servicer to set up IBR and PSLF.  But they will typically not give you advice about which is the best program for you or help you understand how each of the different repayment plans can impact you.  I will help you build a plan and we will discuss different scenarios that could affect your plan in the future.  Should you decide that trying for loan forgiveness is a good option for you, I will help you understand the tax consequences you may face in the future and show you to plan for them.  I use specialized student loan software that helps us build a plan and allows you to quickly see how different assumptions we make about the future can affect your payments.  If you are using and IBR/PSLF program I  help married couples and their tax advisor with specialized planning.

Let's build a plan for your Student Loans

Click the button below if you are ready for us to help you look at your student loans and understand your options

Milestone Advisory Group, LLC

1720 Retriever Lane

Washington, IL 61571

ph 309.360.9890

f    800.877.9890

Milestone Advisory Group, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of IL.  

*Insurance products and services offered by John Antrobus as a sole proprietor.

The presence of this website shall in no way be construed or interpreted as a solicitation to sell or offer to sell advisory services to any residents of any State other than the State of IL or where otherwise legally permitted. All written content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. 

All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Milestone Advisory Group, LLC and our editorial staff. The information contained in this material has been derived from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and completeness and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the materials discussed. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual adviser prior to implementation.

Copyright 2024 Milestone Advisory Group, LLC

Insert Image