Home » Loans Serivces » How to Pay Off $70,000 in Student Loans

February 2024
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829  

How to Pay Off $70,000 in Student Loans

While the average student loan debt for college students is $39,351, some students might end up leaving school with $70,000 or more in student loans.

Paying off this amount in student loans can feel overwhelming. For example, if you had $70,000 in federal student loans and made payments under the standard 10-year repayment plan with a 6.22% interest rate, you’d end up with a monthly payment of $785 and a total repayment cost of $94,188.

Thankfully, there are several strategies that could help you more easily manage $70,000 in student loans.

Here’s how to pay off $70,000 in student loans:

Refinance your student loansConsider using a cosigner when refinancingExplore income-driven repayment plansPursue loan forgiveness for federal student loansAdopt the debt avalanche or debt snowball method

1. Refinance your student loans

Student loan refinancing is the process of paying off your old loans with a new loan. Depending on your credit, you might get a lower interest rate through refinancing, which could save you money on interest and even potentially help you pay off your loans faster.

Or you could opt to extend your repayment term to reduce your monthly payments and lessen the strain on your budget — though keep in mind that this means you’ll pay more in interest over time.

Keep in mind: You can refinance both federal and private loans. However, refinancing your federal student loans will cost you access to federal benefits and protections — such as income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs.

If you decide to refinance your student loans, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible so you can find the right loan for your situation. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in just two minutes.

LenderFixed rates from (APR)Variable rates from (APR)Loan terms (years)Loan amounts

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
4.54%+N/A10, 15, 20$7,500 up to up to $200,000
(larger balances require special approval)Fixed APR:
4.54%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$7,500 up to $500,000Loan terms (years):
10, 15, 20Max. undergraduate loan balance:
$250,000 – $500,000Time to fund:
4 monthsRepayment options:
Immediate repayment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must be a resident of KentuckyCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
NoCosigner release:
After 36 monthsLoan servicer:
Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan CorporationMax. graduate loan balance:
$250,000 – $500,000Credible Review:
Advantage Education Loan reviewOffers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.15%+
1.87%+5, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 up to $250,000
(depending on degree)Fixed APR:
2.15%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$10,000 to $400,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Military deferment, forbearanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must have a credit score of at least 720, a minimum income of $60,000, and must be a resident of TexasCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
Does not discloseCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
Firstmark ServicesMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$100,000 – $149,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$200,000 – $400,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Does not disclose

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.44%+1
2.24%+15, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 to $500,000
(depending on degree and loan type)Fixed APR:
2.44%+1Variable APR:
2.24%+1Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$10,000 to $750,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Immediate repayment, academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
Autopay, loyaltyEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loansCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 24 to 36 monthsLoan servicer:
Firstmark ServicesMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$100,000 to $149,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
Less than $150,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.99%+2
2.94%+25, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20$5,000 to $300,000
(depending on degree type)Fixed APR:
2.99%+2Variable APR:
2.94%+2Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 to $300,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Repayment options:
Military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
All states except for MECustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 24 to 36 monthsLoan servicer:
College Ave Servicing LLCMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$100,000 to $149,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
Less than $300,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.16%+
2.11%+5, 7, 10, 15, 20$5,000 to $500,000Fixed rate:
2.44%+1Variable rate:
2.24%+1Min. credit score:
680Loan amount:
$5,000 to $500,000Cosigner release:
YesLoan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states, except MS and NVCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
FirstMarkMax. undergraduate loan balance:
$500,000Max. graduate loan balance:
$500,000Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
YesMin. income:
$65,000 (for 15- and 20-year products)

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
1.8%+5
1.8%+55, 10, 15, 20$1,000 to $250,000Fixed APR:
1.8%+5Variable APR:
1.8%+5Min. credit score:
700Loan amount:
$7,500 to $200,000Loan terms (years):
5, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Immediate repayment, academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and submit two personal referencesCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 36 monthsLoan servicer:
Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R)Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$150,000 to $249,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$150,000 to $199,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.47%+3
2.39%+35, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Minimum of $15,000Fixed APR:
2.47%+3Variable APR:
2.39%+3Min. credit score:
680Loan amount:
No maximumLoan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Repayment options:
ForbearanceFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have at least $15,000 in student loan debt, and have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved schoolCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
MohelaMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
No maximumMax. Graduate Loan Balance:
No maximumOffers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
3.47%+4
2.44%+45, 10, 15, 20$5,000 – $250,000Fixed APR:
3.47%+4Variable APR:
2.44%+4Min. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$5,000 to $250,000Loan terms (years):
5, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must be U.S. citizen or permanent residentCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
YesMax undergraduate loan balance:
$250,000Max graduate loan balance:
$250,000Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.24%+7N/A5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Up to $300,000Fixed APR:
2.24%+7Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
670Loan amount:
Up to $300,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Time to fund:
Usually one business dayRepayment options:
Academic deferral, military deferral, forbearance, death/disability dischargeFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 24 monthsMax. undergraduate loan balance:
$300,000Max. graduate balance:
$300,000Offers Parent PLUS loans:
YesMin. income:
None

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
3.05%+
3.05%+7, 10, 15$10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debtFixed APR:
3.05%+Variable APR:
3.05%+Min. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$10,000 up to the total amountLoan terms (years):
7, 10, 15Repayment options:
Military deferment, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loansCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
AESMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
No maximumMax. Gradaute Loan Balance:
No maximumOffers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.89%+N/A5, 8, 12, 15$7,500 to $300,000Fixed APR:
2.89%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$7,500 to $300,000Loan terms (years):
5, 8, 12, 15Repayment options:
Does not discloseFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen and have and at least $7,500 in student loansCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 12 monthsLoan servicer:
PenFedMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$300,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$300,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.69%+N/A5, 10, 15$7,500 up to $250,000
(depending on highest degree earned)Fixed APR:
2.69%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
680Loan amount:
$7,500 to $250,000Loan terms (years):
5, 10, 15Repayment options:
Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 states; must also have at least $7,500 in student loans and a minimum income of $40,000Customer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
Does not discloseCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
Rhode Island Student Loan AuthorityMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$150,000 – $249,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$200,000 – $249,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.49%+6
1.99%+65, 7, 10, 15, 20$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loansFixed APR:
2.49%+6Variable APR:
1.99%+6Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 up to the full balanceLoan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Academic deferment, military defermentFees:
NoneDiscounts:
Autopay, loyaltyEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
NoMax undergraduate loan balance:
No maximumMax graduate loan balance:
No maximumOffers Parent PLUS refinancing:
YesCompare personalized rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

Compare Now

Trustpilot
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures

2. Consider using a cosigner when refinancing

You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to get approved for refinancing — a good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. There are also several lenders that offer refinancing for bad credit, but these loans tend to come with higher rates compared to good credit loans.

If you have poor or fair credit and are struggling to get approved, consider applying with a cosigner. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.

Tip: A cosigner can be anyone with good credit — such as a parent, another relative, or a trusted friend — who is willing to share responsibility for the loan. Just keep in mind that this means they’ll be on the hook if you can’t make your payments.

Learn More: Best Student Refinance Companies: Reviewed and Rated

3. Explore income-driven repayment plans

If you have federal student loans, signing up for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan could be a good idea. On an IDR plan, your payments are based on your income — typically 10% to 20% of your discretionary income.

Additionally, you could have any remaining balance after 20 to 25 years, depending on the plan.

Tip: Signing up for an IDR plan might significantly reduce your monthly payments. However, keep in mind that by extending your repayment term, you could end up paying much more in interest over time.

Here’s how the four main IDR plans compare to a few other federal repayment plan options:

Repayment planWho’s eligible?Monthly paymentRepayment termsEligible for loan forgiveness?Standard repayment planAny borrower with Direct or FFEL LoansAmount when payments are spread equally over 10 years (usually $50 minimum) 10 yearsNoGraduated repayment planAny borrower with Direct or FFEL LoansDepends on loan amount
(payments start low and increase every 2 years)10 yearsNoExtended repayment planAny borrower with more than $30,000 in Direct or FFEL LoansFixed: Spread evenly over up to 25 years

Graduated: Depends on loan amount (start low and increase every 2 years)Up to 25 yearsNoIncome-Based Repayment (IBR)Borrowers with partial financial hardship

(no Parent PLUS Loans)For borrowers who took out loans after July 1, 2014: 10% of discretionary income
(never more than 10-year plan)

For borrowers who took out loans before July 1, 2014: 15% of discretionary income
(never more than 10-year plan)For borrowers who took out loans after July 1, 2014: 20 years

For borrowers who took out loans before July 1, 2014: 25 yearsYesPay As You Earn (PAYE)Must have partial financial hardshipMust have borrowed on or after Oct. 1, 200710% of discretionary income
(never more than 10-year plan)20 yearsYesRevised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)Any borrower
(no Parent PLUS Loans)10% of discretionary income
(no cap)20 years
(25 years if repaying grad school debt)YesIncome Contingent Repayment (ICR)Any borrower
(Parent PLUS Loans must be consolidated)20% of discretionary income
(or income-adjusted payment on 12-year plan)25 yearsYes

Check Out: PAYE vs. REPAYE: Which Repayment Plan Is Right for You?

4. Pursue loan forgiveness for federal student loans

There are several student loan forgiveness programs available to federal student loan borrowers. Most of these require that you work in a certain field and make qualifying payments for a specific amount of time.

For example: If you are employed by a nonprofit or government agency and make qualifying payments for 10 years, you might qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Or if you’re a teacher who works at a low-income school, you could be eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

Some other occupations that might qualify for a forgiveness program include:

DentistsDoctorsLawyers NursesPharmacistsTeachersKeep in mind: Unfortunately, private student loan forgiveness doesn’t exist. However, there are other options that could help you more easily pay off private loans, such as refinancing.

Learn More: How Often Can You Refinance Student Loans?

5. Adopt the debt avalanche or debt snowball method

If you have multiple student loans and aren’t eligible for refinancing or forgiveness, you might just need to concentrate on paying off your loans as quickly as possible. Here are two strategies that could help:

Debt avalanche method

With the debt avalanche method, you’ll focus on paying off your loan with the highest interest rate first while continuing to make the minimum payments on your other loans.

You’ll then move on to the loan with the next-highest interest rate — continuing until all of your loans are paid off.

Tip: The debt avalanche method can save you money on interest charges — but it can take a while to see any results. If you’re more motivated by small wins, the debt snowball method might be a better fit for you.

Debt snowball method

With the debt snowball method, you’ll focus on paying off your smallest loan first while making the minimum payments on your other loans.

After you repay this loan, you’ll move on to the next-smallest loan — continuing until all of your loans have been paid off.

Tip: The debt snowball method can be particularly motivating since it typically offers quick results. But if you would rather save money on interest and don’t mind waiting to see your savings, the debt avalanche method could be a better choice.

Check Out: Private Student Loan Consolidation

Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions about paying off $70,000 in student loans:

How long does it take to pay off $70k student loans?

This will depend on the type of student loans you have and what repayment plan you choose.

Federal student loans: You could have 10 to 25 years to repay federal loans, depending on the repayment plan you choose. You could also opt to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan and extend your repayment term up to 30 years.Private student loans: Terms on private loans typically range from five to 20 years, depending on the lender.

Can I file for bankruptcy to eliminate my student loan debt?

Yes, you can file bankruptcy for student loan debt. However, it can be difficult to actually have your loans discharged. If you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll have to prove to the court that paying them would cause an undue hardship for you and your dependents, which generally means that you wouldn’t be able to afford basic needs if you continue to repay the debt.

If the court decides in your favor, your loans could be:

Fully dischargedPartially discharged with you responsible for the remainder of the balanceAdjusted with different terms to make repayment easier (such as a lower interest rate)Tip: Filing for bankruptcy will severely damage your credit and should be treated as a last resort. If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure it’s the best choice for your financial situation.

re student loans forgiven after 20 years?

This depends on the type of student loans you have.

If you have federal student loans, you could be eligible for forgiveness after 20 to 25 years on an IDR plan. There are also other forgiveness programs that offer forgiveness sooner — for example, you could have your loans forgiven after 10 years if you qualify for PSLF.If you have private student loans, you aren’t eligible for forgiveness. In this case, you might consider refinancing your loans for a lower interest rate to potentially reduce your repayment time.

Do children inherit student debt?

Generally no. Here’s what you can typically expect:

Federal student loans are discharged upon the death of the borrower. If you have a Parent PLUS Loan, it will be discharged if you or the student who benefitted from it passes away.Private student loans are often discharged similarly to federal loans. However, keep in mind that this is at the discretion of the lender. If the lender doesn’t offer a death discharge option, then your private loans will be considered part of your estate and will be paid off by your assets.

The post How to Pay Off $70,000 in Student Loans appeared first on Credible.