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7 Myths about Federal Student Loans You Need to Know

When it comes to federal student loans, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around. It can be difficult to tell what’s true and what’s not, so it’s important to understand the facts. In this blog post, we’ll debunk 7 of the most common myths about federal student loans, so you can make informed decisions when it comes to your financial future. Let’s take a look at the truth behind federal student loans.

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1) Myth #1: All federal student loans are the same
Many people mistakenly assume that all federal student loans are the same. However, this is not the case. There are various types of federal student loans available, and each type comes with its own set of requirements, benefits, and repayment options. The most common types of federal student loans include Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, PLUS Loans, and Perkins Loans.
Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based loans for undergraduate students with a low interest rate and no fees. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are non-need based loans with a higher interest rate but no fees. PLUS Loans are loans for graduate and professional students or parents of dependent undergraduate students with a higher interest rate and fees. Lastly, Perkins Loans are need-based loans for undergraduate and graduate students with a low interest rate and no fees.
When considering a federal student loan, it’s important to be aware of the different types of loans available and which one is right for you. Comparing the details of each loan can help you decide which loan will provide the best benefits and repayment options for your particular financial situation.

2) Myth #2: You can’t discharge your student loans in bankruptcy
One of the most common myths about federal student loans is that they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This is simply not true. It is possible to discharge federal student loans in certain circumstances, such as if you can demonstrate that repaying the loans would cause an undue hardship on you or your family. In addition, if the loans were taken out fraudulently or for an illegal purpose, they can be discharged.
However, it is important to note that discharging federal student loans in bankruptcy is difficult and rare. The process involves filing a separate lawsuit against the government, which can be time-consuming and expensive. As such, it is usually not worth pursuing unless the amount of debt is truly unmanageable.
Therefore, while it is possible to discharge federal student loans in certain circumstances, it is not easy or guaranteed. Before making any decisions, it is important to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand the process and decide if it’s the right option for you.

3) Myth #3: You can’t negotiate your interest rate
It’s a common misconception that you can’t negotiate the interest rate on federal student loans, but that’s simply not true. You can actually request a lower interest rate on your federal student loan, and it might even be approved. To do this, you’ll need to contact the loan servicer and explain why you are requesting a lower interest rate. It helps if you can provide evidence that you have a good credit score and solid repayment history.
If you have multiple federal student loans with different interest rates, you may also be able to consolidate them into one loan with a single interest rate. This can potentially save you money, since having just one loan means you only have to pay one interest rate. Consolidating your loans can also make repayment easier since you’re only responsible for making one payment each month.

4) Myth #4: You can’t change your repayment plan
Many borrowers believe that they can’t adjust their repayment plan on federal student loans once they’ve begun making payments. This is not true. You can change your repayment plan on federal student loans at any time. Depending on the type of loan you have and your financial situation, you can adjust the payment amount or length of repayment period. There are many options for changing your repayment plan on federal student loans, including the Income-Driven Repayment plan and the Extended Repayment Plan. It is important to do your research and discuss the pros and cons with a financial expert before deciding which repayment plan is best for you.

5) Myth #5: You can’t get your loans forgiven
This is false. There are several ways that you can get your federal student loans forgiven. For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program allows certain borrowers who work in public service to have their loans forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments. Additionally, certain borrowers who are disabled or face extreme economic hardship may be eligible for a total and permanent disability discharge, which eliminates their federal student loan debt. Additionally, other special circumstances may qualify borrowers for loan forgiveness. It’s important to do your research to find out if you are eligible for any of these options.

6) Myth #6: You can’t refinance your federal student loans
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to refinance your federal student loans. Refinancing federal student loans means that you are essentially replacing your existing loan with a new loan, usually with a lower interest rate. This can help you reduce your monthly payments and save money on interest over the life of the loan. It’s important to note, however, that if you choose to refinance your federal student loans, you will no longer have access to certain benefits associated with federal loans, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness options. You should also be aware that refinancing your federal student loans will mean that you are taking on a private loan and not a federal loan, meaning that you may be subject to different repayment terms and conditions. Therefore, it is important to do your research and compare all of your options before deciding to refinance your federal student loans.

7) Myth #7: Consolidating your loans is always a good idea
Consolidating your federal student loans can be a great way to manage your debt and make repayment more manageable. But it isn’t always the best choice, and in some cases it could even be a bad decision. Consolidating your loans will combine all your federal student loans into one loan, with a single interest rate and repayment plan. This can make repayment easier, but it also means you’ll lose out on certain benefits offered by some of the individual loans, such as deferment or forbearance options. Before consolidating your federal student loans, it’s important to research all the pros and cons carefully to make sure you’re making the best decision for your financial situation.

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