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How Refinancing Student Loans Digs Borrowers Out of Debt

shoveling out of hole
Being able to refinance student loans can be a godsend. After all, student loans are the only type of debt that is impossible to get rid of.

Even though mortgage loan debts are almost always more than student loans, a homeowner can legally declare bankruptcy and have their mortgage loan debt discharged. The same applies to car loan debt, credit card debt, personal loan debt, and even payday loan debt. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply to student loan debt.

Fortunately, borrowers can save money on their student loan payments by refinancing. Let’s fully grasp how beneficial refinancing can be to borrowers looking to dig their way out of student loan debt by reviewing the refinance stories of two borrowers.

A Tale of Two Refinances

Tina Cassler refinanced her student loan debt in 2004 and again in 2007 in order to take advantage of good interest rates offered through consolidation.

“It helped me save money on the interest and it felt much more simplified, thus less overwhelming,” she said. “I’m very glad that I did so and feel it was instrumental in helping me to prioritize and pay off my student loans early.”

Cassler was sure to mention that this past summer she paid off all of her student loans, a rare feat for many people. It dawned on her that at the low monthly rates she was paying each month, she would have been paying off her student loans when she was retired.

“I had been paying on the undergrad loans since graduation in 1996 and paying ahead whenever I could,” said Cassler. “I completed my Master’s in 2007 and had also accumulated some grad school loans.”

Wisely consolidating her student loan debts together for a new refinanced interest rate, Cassler ended up with a total of $24,000 in one consolidated bill and her interest rates actually fell by 3 to 5 percent after she refinanced.

Many people don’t even know about consolidating or refinancing their debt. As painful as debt can be, it is equally confusing for the uninformed borrower. 

“I took the long-term view of what I would pay based on my current interest rates and compared it to the interest rates I was able to get through consolidation,” said Cassler. “It turned out to be a no brainer.”

The refinancing process can be so overwhelming that many people do not even take the step to compare consolidation rates. This is exacerbated by the different types of loans there are, such as private, federal, subsidized, and unsubsidized. Such a complex process is sure to drive away many people who become easily confused, to no fault of their own.

Depending on the size of one’s student loan debt, attempting to refinance can seem both daunting and hopeless. Even more stress can be applied to people who want to refinance their student loans in order to add more cash flow to their businesses.

Aron Susman, founder of TheSquareFoot.com, said that when he refinanced in order to help his business, he dropped his student loan debt interest rate from 9.8 percent down to 6.8 percent, but he did have to pay some fees.

While he did only manage to shave off $50 to $80 a month, he doesn’t think it was insignificant.

“Why spend any extra money that literally provides you no value,” said Susman.

He attended the University of Texas McCombs School Business on a $30,000 student loan, slightly above the present national average for college debt.

“Not only was the monthly savings helpful, but the overall interest paid on the note (over the 10 years) went down by about $7,000 to $8,000,” he said.

By refinancing, Susman was able to help expand his business by focusing his money there, rather than on student loans.

“I was in the process of starting my current company and needed to defer my cash outflows as much as possible,” said Susman. “It was a huge help to me and now with the company generating revenue at two-and-a-half years old, I was able to pay it off.”

While not everyone intends to be an entrepreneur, Susman believes everyone should look into refinancing since there is no downside to it. If approved, borrowers get to pay a lower interest rate. If denied, they simply keep paying the rate they were paying before. There is no penalty for being rejected, such as credit score damage or an analysis fee.

“The re-financing definitely helped my business as it allowed me to lower my future financial obligations and thus feel more comfortable pursuing my business,” he said.

Freed Cash

As these two borrowers demonstrated, it can be both wise and profitable to refinance student loans.

Whether someone is refinancing private student loans or federal student loans, they can do more than just save money. They can cut down on the headache and stress of a life tied to debt.

While Susman is an entrepreneur and Cassler is a digital marketing specialist, this just goes to show that all kinds of people are capable of refinancing. There really isn’t anything that a person couldn’t do with the money they save up.

It could be put towards the down payment on a house, saved up for a car, or used to pay down other types of debt. It could even be blown on recreational fun.

Borrowers need to decide for themselves whether going through the work to apply for consolidation or refinance is worth it. It may seem complex at first, but for years of reduced payments, it is most assuredly worth it.