My spouse and I have almost $150k in Federal student loans. About 60k of this balance is in consolidated loans, and the remaining 90k is split between roughly 20 smaller loan balances (the smallest is 1.5k, the largest non-consolidated loan is 15k). Due to an botched attempt to refinance via the IBNR program (and the subsequent underpayment of loans for a time), we ended up accumulating enough interest that we're essentially at 120 remaining payments (so the full 10 years), even after paying for 18 months.
We're taking steps to refinance a small portion at half the Federal interest rate via SoFi, which handles personal and student loans (we're taking the larger 7.62% loans and getting a 4.25% rate for a 5-year repayment plan).
My question is this:
Is it more financially savvy to refinance most/all of our high-interest loans to a 5-year/60-payment plan, or should we attempt to pay down the principal on the 10-year/120-payment plan?
Is there any benefit to the latter option? My initial assessment is that we're essentially cutting out 60 payments in exchange for a higher monthly payment. Would there be any potential gain to retaining the 10-year plan for our high-interest Federal loans?