Anonymous User wrote:Should I be refinancing? On the one hand, I don't want to lose the various protections that the federal government provides.
You have to decide whether those protections are worth the added cost of the higher interest rate. The middle ground is refinancing part of your loans, but again that's making part of the trade off (you could pay even less by refinancing all of them, you could get more protection by not refinancing at all).
Anonymous User wrote:How much would you say is a good amount for making aggressive monthly payments without breaking my back?
Make sure that you have an emergency fund of 3-6 months' expenses. Then pay as aggressive as you want/can. You've listed 3.5k in expenses, but you of course have other bills and necessities (and any wants you have) and your take home is probably around 9k/month. Some people pay 1.5k/month, some people pay nearly 5k/month.