Profile: 2009 grad (T2 private school), Federal employee (current salary ~ $120K)
Debt balance at graduation (~ $240K):
$182K Federal (IBR) + $7K Perkins + $50K? private (3 loans with 20 yr terms, different variable rates; I think about $10K of this was left from undergrad loan after making payments for 3 yrs and then deferring them thru law school).
Current Balance (~ $214K): $207K Federal (thanks, compound interest!) + $7.5K Private
Federal- Based on last year's AGI, my monthly payment is now $1,079.66. Since I'm now at the top of my salary ladder, I don't expect this will change much in the future unless I get a promotion. For perspective, my payment was about $500/month when I started IBR with a salary about $57K.
Private loans - variable rates changed drastically between 3.75% to 8.17%. Total minimum payments between $305 and $400/month. Current monthly payment $120 *.
Perkins - paid off in 7 years, minimum payments of $76.37.
- Apply for IBR/consolidation ASAP and stay on top of your lenders to make sure they timely do their part. Any payments made on your federal loans prior to consolidation do NOT count for PSLF, even though the minimum payments far exceed your IBR calculation!! Before consolidation, my total loan payments were about $2,000/month. I racked up 5 figures worth of credit card debt between bar study and consolidation (which took almost 7 months due to complications) because I couldn't afford standard living expenses on top of my student loans. It took me 6 years to pay off that CC debt.
-I paid extra toward principal to my Perkins and private loans whenever I received work bonuses, cash gifts, or had extra income if I spent less than my monthly budget.
*I'm very lucky that my parents helped me pay about 2/3 of the total private loans over several years. I recently refinanced the remaining $7.5K to a 6 yr loan at 3.75% fixed interest thru Earnest (Note- credit score over 800, SoFi offered similar rates).