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5 Tips to Repay Parent PLUS Loans Now and Move On With Life

Ben Luthi
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5-tips-to-repay-parent-loans-fast

Before You Read, Lower Your Student Loan Payment

It’s that quick & easy — really. Our free tool checks a network of top refinance lenders and shows you options in one easy chart.
Checking rates takes 2 minutes with no impact on your credit
Federal & private loans are eligible
No maximum loan amount

Before You Read, Lower Your Student Payment

It’s that quick & easy — really. Our free tool checks a network of top refinance lenders and shows you options in one easy chart.

Checking rates takes 2 minutes with no impact on your credit
Federal & private loans are eligible
No maximum loan amount

Parent PLUS Loans provide an excellent way for a parent to help their child pay for college. But when it comes time to start making payments, it can be challenging, especially with other competing financial goals.

If you’re trying to figure out how to pay off Parent PLUS Loans early or more effectively, there are several options to consider. Here are some ways to consider approaching yours.

How paying off Parent PLUS Loans can help your financial life and goals

As a parent with a college-age child, you may be in your 40s, 50s or even 60s. This means that in addition to paying off your student loans, you may also be working on saving for retirement, covering ever-increasing health care expenses and more.

Unfortunately, your Parent PLUS Loan payments may be making it difficult to make meaningful progress with those other important financial goals, let alone get by with your current needs.

If you can find a way to pay off your loans early, that’ll free up more cash flow to allocate toward other important expenses and goals. If you’re struggling to get by on your current budget, though, prolonging your repayment term to get a lower monthly payment may be a better path forward.

Did you know? Parent PLUS Loans often have the highest rate of any federal loan.

Over the past 5 years, Parent PLUS Loans have had an average rate of 6.7% — but refinance rates currently start at a historic low 1.88%. 

Takes 2 minutes • No impact on credit

Either way, being proactive about your student loans can make a big difference for your situation and make for a better financial future.

How to pay off Parent PLUS Loans

Depending on your situation, there are several ways you can tackle your student loans and meet your goals with the debt payoff process. Here are five tips that can help.

how-to-pay-off-parent-plus-loans

  • Get on a budget: Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to achieve any financial goal because it helps you understand where your money is going every month. If you can identify and cut back on some of your discretionary spending, you could reallocate those funds toward your debt payments.
  • Use windfalls: Every time you get a bonus from work or a tax refund, consider using a good portion — or even all — of it to pay down your student loan debt. Making large payments like this won’t reduce your monthly payment, but it can significantly reduce how much interest you pay and cut months off your repayment schedule.
  • Pay every two weeks: Instead of making just one payment every month, pay half of your monthly payment every two weeks. By doing this, you’ll end up making 13 months’ worth of payments in a year, cutting some time off your term.
  • Get on an income-contingent repayment plan: Parent PLUS Loans aren’t eligible for most income-driven repayment plans. But if you consolidate your loans through the federal government, you can get on an income-contingent repayment plan. This won’t help you pay off your bill faster, but if you’re struggling to keep up with payments, it can reduce your monthly payment, giving you some more breathing room.
  • Parent PLUS Loan refinancing: Refinancing your Parent PLUS Loans can open the door to many different benefits, including lower monthly payments, faster repayment, lower interest rates and more.

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5.19% – 9.74% APR 2

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How to refinance Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loan refinancing can be one of the best ways to pay off your student debt more quickly. Some of the benefits include:

  • Lower interest rates: Depending on your creditworthiness, you may qualify for a lower interest rate than what you have now. This would not only decrease your total interest costs but could also reduce your monthly payments.
  • Payment flexibility: You can opt for a longer repayment term with Parent PLUS Loans, but there’s no option to shorten your schedule. With Parent PLUS Loan refinancing, you can replace your current loans with a new one with terms ranging from five to 20 years, or sometimes longer.
  • Transfer your debt: If your child has graduated and is willing to transfer your student loans to their name, Parent PLUS Loan refinancing is the only way to do that. If you can accomplish this, you’ll be able to get rid of your student debt entirely, making room in your budget for other financial goals.

It’s important to note, however, that not everyone qualifies for Parent PLUS Loan refinancing. Even if you do, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the terms you’re hoping to get.

How to refinance Parent PLUS Loans at the lowest rates

Refinancing involves replacing your current loans with a new one through a private lender. The process starts with prequalification, which allows you to see which offers are available based on your credit profile. Prequalification doesn’t require a hard credit check, so it doesn’t impact your credit score.

With Purefy’s rate comparison tool, you can get prequalified with and compare several lenders in one place. The more lenders you view, the easier it will be to find the lowest interest rate available based on your financial and credit situation.

Once you’ve found the right lender for you, submit an application to get a final offer and proceed with the refinancing process.

Should I refinance Parent PLUS Loans?

Remember, if you’re trying to figure out how to pay off Parent PLUS Loans, refinancing may be one of the best ways to accomplish your goal. That doesn’t mean it works for everyone, though. Consider Parent PLUS Loan refinancing if:

is-refinancing-right-for-me

  • You have a strong credit history and a relatively high income.
  • Your child can qualify on their own to have your debt transferred to them.
  • You want a shorter repayment period, so you can pay off your debt more quickly.
  • You want a say in who your lender is and the features that come with your loan.
  • You’re hoping to reduce your interest rate and total interest charges.

Even after you refinance, you can still use some of the other tips we’ve provided for paying down your debt faster. Even with the best approach, paying off your student loans can take years. But the more focused you are over time, the more time and money you’ll save as you near your goal.

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Ascent Rate Disclosure

Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Ts&Cs.

Rates are effective as of 12/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized back account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Rates.

1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Click here for details.

SoFi Rate Disclosure

3 SoFi Rate Disclosure:

Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 5.09% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

ISL Rate Disclosure

Earnest Rate Disclosure

2 Earnest Rate Disclosure:


Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 5.44% APR to 9.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.97% APR to 9.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.

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THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.

Earnest Rate Disclosure

Rates displayed include the 0.25% Auto Pay discount. You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment from a checking or savings account. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.67% APR to 16.15% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.64% APR to 16.45% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan origination loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Nine-month grace period is not available for borrowers who choose our Principal and Interest Repayment plan while in school.

Earnest clients may skip one payment every 12 months. Your first request to skip a payment can be made once you’ve made at least 6 months of consecutive on-time payments, and your loan is in good standing. The interest accrued during the skipped month will result in an increase in your remaining minimum payment. The final payoff date on your loan will be extended by the length of the skipped payment periods. Please be aware that a skipped payment does count toward the forbearance limits. Please note that skipping a payment is not guaranteed and is at Earnest’s discretion. Your monthly payment and total loan cost may increase as a result of postponing your payment and extending your term.

Loan Eligibility criteria: Eligible students must: 1) For college Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors, attend, or be enrolled to attend, a Title IV school full-time. For college Seniors and Graduate students, attend, or be enrolled to attend, a Title IV school at least half-time; and 2) be pursuing a Bachelor’s or Graduate degree. Earnest private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information, self-certification of loan amount, and school certification.

Responsible borrowing tip: Explore all scholarship, grant and federal options before applying for a private loan.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

Advertiser Disclosure:

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.

ELFI Rate Disclosure

4 ELFI Rate Disclosure:

Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan debt consolidation and refinance program offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating and refinancing loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your cost of education debt and/or makes repayment very simple. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 10/13/2023. The interest rate and monthly payment for a variable rate loan may increase after closing, but will never exceed 9.95% APR. Interest rates may be different from the rates shown above and will be based on the term of your loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 6% would have 120 payments of $11.00 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

ELFI Rate Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan provider offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist students financially with receiving their education. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 12/11/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after closing but will never exceed 18.00%. Interest rates may also differ from the rates shown above. The term of your loan, financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history can affect the interest rate. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 7% would have 120 payments of $11.61 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

College Ave Rate Disclosure

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. If a payment is returned, you will lose this benefit. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
Minimum loan amount $1,000, as certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive.
This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 1/1/2024. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

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