At Age 70 I will still have Student Loans to Pay-OUCH!

  1. Hi everyone! I'm 55 and became an RN 2 years ago. At age 70, I will still owe Sallie Mae thousands of dollars as well as Stafford Loans. Does anyone know what Sallie mae's stand is for retiree's who can no longer pay student loans due to a fixed income? How about the Stafford Government loans?

    Any insight will be helpful!
  2. Visit GoNightingale profile page

    About GoNightingale

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 127; Likes: 27
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Med/Surg, Tele, PCU


  3. by   twois
    Federal loans can be capped at 10% of your income according to new legislation from a year or two ago. Private loans are not subject to that law, but they may work with you. You'll need to call Sallie Mae and see what they say; they've been moderately forgiving with my economic woes in the last year or so, so it's not out of the question that they'll work with you on lowered payments if your income is fixed. However, I wouldn't get your hopes up that they'll let you stop paying entirely.
  4. by   oramar
    Remember, just don't default because they will garnish your SSI. That is only the government student loans that do that. I am fairly certain of this because I saw a show about it on 60 minutes. One 70+ year old granny had a grandchild that forged her signature to a student loan and then defaulted. The grandmother's SSI was being garnished by the government. It was a crying shame.
  5. by   RNin505
    Have you considered the military or an underserved area? They offer some pretty cool loan repayment programs.
  6. by   RNperdiem
    Is this a loan you can pay off early?
    What if you pay more each month on your loans, kind of like extra payments on a mortgage?
  7. by   ThePrincessBride
    I don't, and I know that it is too late to say this, but Sallie Mae should be avoided at ALL costs. They are freakin' loan sharks.
  8. by   bds165
    Quote from RNin505
    Have you considered the military or an underserved area? They offer some pretty cool loan repayment programs.

    His/Her age will prevent military service and probably prevent USPHS (provided there is no previous military service). IHS may be an option but I believe they have an age cap as well.
  9. by   passion4people
    Hi. There is also another option called IBR(income based repayment) that is based on a small percentage of your income. You can also consolidate your loans and make one payment. Many people are not aware that this option is available to them.Go to for more information.
  10. by   Jules A
    Can you start paying more each month to knock them off sooner? Good luck and thank you for sharing this with others because I can't believe the numerous threads I have read where people continue to encourage others to take out mega loans for living expenses and school because it is "an investment".
  11. by   cjar107013
    I don't know about Sallie Mae but the Stafford Loans have a public service forgiveness option that might help you out.
  12. by   GoNightingale
    Thanks Oramar and to everyone who has replied to my post. As you know, whomever thinks nurses are in thisw field for the money, they are well misinformed. As a two-year old nurse, I'm just making ends meet. I pay Sallie May $252.88 a month and Stafford Loan $156.00 a month. That's a big chunk of money in addition to rent, insurance yada,yada yada. I have tried the military, but due to my age they won't take me. Ifg I was to work for the Veteran's Administration Hospitals, they pay government loans with some qualification requirements. But I'm not as concerned about the Stafford loans as i am about Sallie Mae. I guess I'll just keep on truckin' and see what happens. Right now, I have no savings (all went to nursing school), no house, ummm. If I buy a house to retire in, I have to pay a higher mortgage to pay it off in 15 years. May not be around for a 30-year mortgage! Ha, ha,!
    Hey, if I have good vision when I'm in my 60's, I'll do travel nursing and just buy an RV!
  13. by   pshs_2000
    As someone else mentioned there is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Basically, if you work full time in public service (like nursing) for 10 years, and while you are working you make 120 on-time payments, what ever balance is left will be forgiven. This is for people with Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, which include - Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans - for parents and graduate or professional students, Federal Consolidation Loans (excluding joint spousal consolidation loans), Federal Perkins Loans, and Certain Health Professions and Nursing Loans. The process for requesting this forgivness is still a little murky because it just became law back in 2007 so the first group to request forgiveness won't be until 2017. It's recommended that you keep track of your full time employment and perhaps have letters verifying it. You can read more about the program here and IBRinfo :: What are these new programs?. As far as Sallie Mae, I'm assuming those are private loans. If so, then you can probably request lower payments due to financial hardship or request forbearance. If you know you're going to working FT as an RN for the next 8 years, I would recommend that you pay only the minimum for your Staffords (because they would be forgiven) and put the extra towards your Sallie Mae loans. Hope this helps!
  14. by   tyvin
    I am sorry to hear about your trouble.

    Military is out due to age.

    I give a grave warning to all; don't borrow.

    The Pell and other federal monies can get you through.

    Eons ago when I went to school (a very spendy university) loans were handed out like candy. Credit cards magically appeared in the mail urging a nice wardrobe to insure advancement.

    Yes, it's my own fault but I wish they would've made a better effort at loan counseling other then sign here. I know these days they do.

    And make no mistake; you could be crawling out of your grave and unless you flat lined they will come after you for the loan money. They will garnish your checks be it payroll. disability, SSI etc...also they confiscate your tax returns and any other monies you receive.

    Sure send me to a reservation to work them off but in reality have you ever known anyone who's done it? Send me the info cause I'll do it. I will be paying on my loans until I am 97. Unfortunately I will live that long. You see I've had a few irritated loan people tack on $15,000. late fees taking my total up to > $100,000. owing to Uncle Sam. To think I only borrowed $22,000. And they wonder why I'm not compliant.

    I print this story as a stern warning to all; yea sure there are many of you out there saying she deserves everything she gets but I have always been a responsible person on all else except this matter. This has turned my life into a nightmare to the point I can't get anything without good credit. Even though they're garnishing my check my credit score continues to be bad. They say when the loan comes down to a certain point they'll fix my score (thanks but you've done enough already).