Compare repayment, loan forgiveness, and refinancing options for student loans.
Published July 26, 2022
If you’re a nurse with student loan debt, you’re certainly not alone. Nurses, especially those with advanced degrees, have some of the highest rates of student loan debt compared to other professions. Some of the percentages of student loan debt among advanced practitioners include:
The average student loan debt for different levels of nursing education include:
We’ll compare ways to pay off nursing school debt to help you determine the right strategies for you based on your current goals and other financial considerations.
Nurses can potentially pay back student loan debt faster by taking advantage of a number of strategies including:
Use this chart to compare how different strategies such as making extra payments, changing repayment plans, automating student loan payments, student loan forgiveness programs, and refinancing could help your repayment goals and the potential impact on how you pay off nursing school debt.
|Pay more to the minimum||How much impact||
When applying your payments towards the principal, you can potentially pay off your loan quicker while avoiding interest.
|How it helps||Making more than just minimum monthly payments pays down your debt’s principal, which shortens the time to repay while avoiding additional interest charges.||How to do it||Adjusting your budget to cut expenses, finding a side gig, or taking on overtime hours can help free up funds to pay more than the minimum.|
|Student loan refinancing||How much impact||
Lowering your interest rate can help save on monthly payments and/or reduce the length of your loan’s term, helping you save over the life of the loan.
|How it helps||A refinanced student loan will restructure your debt, often to earn a lower interest rate or to adjust the terms to better match your budget.||How to do it||Learn more about your options for student loan refinancing with
|Student loan forgiveness||How much impact||
Forgiveness of loans can eliminate remaining debt, along with any interest, after meeting all the program requirements.
|How it helps||Nurses working in public sectors, non-profits, or rural areas may qualify for forgiveness for a portion of their existing loans.||How to do it||Review our Student Loan Forgiveness guide, or studentaid.gov page to see if you may qualify.|
|Consider income-driven repayment plans||How much impact||
Switching to an income-driven repayment plan (IDR) reduces your monthly payment amount for federal loans according to your income.
|How it helps||The payment amount is typically calculated as a percentage of your discretionary income and is updated annually to account for income changes. Note, not all borrowers qualify for all IDR plans.||How to do it||For federal student loans, contact your servicer to apply for income-driven repayment plans, or visit www.studentaid.gov/idr to learn more.|
|Automate loan payments||How much impact||
Discounts are often a small percentage of the total debt.
|How it helps||Some lenders will offer discounts if you automate your monthly payments.||How to do it||Ask your lender if they offer discounts for automated payments and connect to your payment accounts to see if this can help you save.|
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