Schools can help find ways to reduce loan payments

Q. I signed for my daughter’s college loans with the PLUS program. Unfortunately, with her salary as a schoolteacher and having a child, her family cannot afford to make any payments, so we are making them.

My name is on the loan, so I am responsible. The interest rates are just under 8 percent. I have been paying on them for two years, but most of it goes toward interest. The loans’ principles have only gone down $1,600 from the $30,000 they started with. What is the best way to pay off these loans? Should we consolidate?

A. There are any number of programs available where you can renegotiate loans such as the PLUS loans or simply money that was borrowed to pay tuition and other expenses. The interest rates are not unreasonable, but you can do better with proper research.

The first place to start is at the schools where the money was borrowed. They have the resources to direct you where to apply and what can be done to reduce the payment. Certainly, you should look into consolidation.


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