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Please let me know if this is too much information/perhaps unsafe private information to reveal. I am trying to understand the finances behind this stuff and what I can do to get rid of my loans effectively by looking at the loan amounts/interest rates/loan types/breakdowns, etc.

I know it's a lot of detail but I'd be so grateful for some help here. I don't have a family or a knowledgeable friend I can ask about this sort of thing.

Via Citi (studentloan.com)
$6110 remaining - CitiAssist Undergrad Loan
original bal $5550, 3% fixed (assumed), $37 minimum. $540 principal, $460 interest total to date
$5160 remaining - CitiAssist Undergrad Loan
original bal $5250, 2.5% fixed (assumed), $30 minimum. $480 principal, $330 interest total to date

It does show the two loans combined for last month: $40 principal, $27 interest


Via AES:
$4540 remaining - Fed Stafford 
original bal $5500, 5.7% fixed, $61 minimum -> $40 principal, $21 interest
$1780 remaining - Fed Unsub Stafford
original bal $2000, 6.5% fixed, $25 minimum -> $15 principal, $10 interest
$4540 remaining - Fed Stafford
original bal $5500, 6.55% fixed, $67 minimum -> $41 principal, $26 interest
$3470 remaining - Fed Unsub Stafford
original bal $3500, 6.55% fixed, $51 minimum -> $31 principal, $20 interest
$2050 remaining - Fed Stafford
original bal $2625, 2.15% variable, $25 minimum -> $21 principal, $4 interest

Expected payoff dates for the AES loans all around Jan 2020



Via ACS:
$9110 remaining - Private Loan
original bal $11680, 2.83% variable, $90 minimum -> $68 principal $22 interest
$1975 remaining - Institutional Loan (CPS)
original bal $2500, 6.00% fixed, $30 minimum. $520 to principal, $310 to interest total to date 

So about $38-39k left, monthly payment here $416 each month.

Is there anything here I should be deathly concerned about? Are these rates considered super high or manageable? What is a good mode of attack here? What are the main takeaways I should understand about these loans? What are the payoff dates for the other loans? Why do my Citi loans have a higher balance than the original payoff amounts?

I really need some help understanding all this... thank you so much.

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The radio program Clark Howard has a lot of warnings about how the private student loans are dangerous because of the special rules that do and do not apply to how they are collected and treated. Therefore he suggests paying those off sooner than later and keeping the paperwork forever. –  MrChrister Sep 6 '12 at 16:14
    
Can you explain what you mean by that? What kind of special rules / rules that do not apply / differences in collection and treatment? –  IAmBatman Sep 6 '12 at 16:21
    
Well, I don't have the expertise to answer authoritatively, but the rumor on the street is that private student loans are NOT subject to the consumer protections to other types of loans are. Therefore, if the bank makes a boo boo on your account, they can really cause you some heartache and you have little recourse in the legal system. Again, this is IF something goes wrong. –  MrChrister Sep 6 '12 at 19:02
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3 Answers

Is there anything here I should be deathly concerned about? I don't see anything you should be deathly concerned about unless your career outlook is very poor and you are making minimum wage. If that is the case you may struggle for the next 10 years.

Are these rates considered super high or manageable? The rates for the federal loans are around twice as high as your private loans but that is the going rate and there is nothing you can do about it now. 6.5% isn't bad on what is essentially a personal loan. 2-3% are very manageable assuming you pay them and don't let the interest build up.

What is a good mode of attack here? I am by no means a financial adviser and don't know the rest of your financial situation, but the most general advice I can give you is pay down your highest interest rate loans first and always try to pay more than the minimum. In your case, I would put as much as you reasonably can towards the federal loans because that will save you money in the long run.

What are the main takeaways I should understand about these loans? The main takeaway is that these are student loans and they cannot be discharged if you were to ever declare bankruptcy. Pay them off but don't be too concerned about them. If you do apply for loans in the future, most lenders won't be too concerned about student loans assuming you are paying them on time and especially if you are paying more than the minimum payment.

What are the payoff dates for the other loans? The payoff dates for the other loans are a little hard to easily calculate, but it appears they all have different payoff dates between 8 and 12 years from now. This part might be easier for someone who is better at financial calculations than me.

Why do my Citi loans have a higher balance than the original payoff amounts? Your citi loans have a higher balance probably because you have not payed anything towards them yet so the interest has been accruing since you got them.

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The 5% to 6.5% loan rates are a bit high. You'll probably want to pay those off first, and make it one of your priorities as soon as you have a 6-month savings fund. This should probably take precedence over savings for retirement, unless you're giving up a 401(k) match. Pay extra on the highest-interest loan until it's all paid off, then switch to the next one down, and accelerate the payoff as much as you can.

If you're looking at a loan at 6% and a payoff date in 8 years or so (2020), am extra dollar paid now will save you ~$0.60. Not a bad return in general, and an excellent return for something that's zero-risk.

The other loans, at 2-3%, are different. An extra dollar paid now on a 2% loan will save you $0.17 over 8 years. That's a pretty mediocre return. If you have a good, stable job and good job prospects, and a decent family support network, and few commitments like children and mortgages, and a low cost of living... generally, the things that help you have a high tolerance for risk... then you should consider investing your money in the stock market instead of paying off these loans any earlier than you need to. (Broad index funds and the like, not individual stocks).

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Is there anything here I should be deathly concerned about? A concern I see is the variable rate loans. Do you understand the maximum rate they can get to? At this time those rates are low, but if you are going to put funds against the highest rate loan, make sure the order doesn't change without you noticing it.

What is a good mode of attack here? The best mode of attack is to pay off the one with the highest rate first by paying more than the minimum. When that is done roll over the money you were paying for that loan to the next highest. Note if a loan balance get to be very low, you can put extra funds against this low balance loan to be done with it.

Investigate loan forgiveness programs. The federal government has loan forgiveness programs for certain job positions, if you work for them for a number of years. Some employers also have these programs.

What are the payoff dates for the other loans? My inexact calculations put a bunch in about 2020 but some as late as 2030. You may need to talk to your lender. They might have a calculator on their website.

Why do my Citi loans have a higher balance than the original payoff amounts? Some loans are subsidized by the federal government. This covers the interest while the student is still in school. Non-subsidized federal loans and private loans don't have this feature, so their balance can grow while the student is in school.

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