How to Make Student Loan Payments Easier, More Affordable

Caps, gowns and student loans are a part of the college experience. While students can return the ceremonial clothing after graduation, they may carry the debt for years to come, but it doesn’t have to be expensive and overwhelming.  

Every spring, thousands of students don a cap and gown, accept their diplomas and walk into the next phase of their lives full of excitement. They’ve shed the weight of books, classes and papers, but they may still carry one thing – student loan debt.

Student loan debt impacts more than 40 million Americans[1] and totals approximately $1.4 trillion.

It’s a burden that can seem overwhelming for many, especially those job hunting or just entering the workforce. Either not making payments or not making timely payments on student loan debt could impact your ability to rent or own a home, buy a car, obtain a credit card, or even get a job. But it doesn’t have to be quite so hard.

Though many recent college graduates may not be thinking about refinancing their student loans and may not even think they will qualify, it’s worth the research and consideration, said Naimesh Patel, general manager of personal and student loans for PNC.

“Combining multiple loans into one and making one easy monthly payment potentially could lower the total cost of your loan and the total amount of your burden,” he said.

If you have several different student loans, determine which have higher interest rates and focus on paying those first, Patel said. While making those regular payments on time, consider other ways to simplify your payments, such as consolidating loans or refinancing them.

Ardell Montgomery, a PNC branch manager in Coraopolis, Penn., had been considering options to refinance his four student loans. With $28,000 spread over four loans, he wanted to make his monthly payment more manageable.

He qualified for a 10-year PNC Education Refinance Loan, which is available for refinancing existing student loans between $10,000 and $75,000 after the applicant has made on-time payments on the loans for 24 months[2].

“I lowered my rate and got a lower monthly payment that won’t go up,” he said. “That gave me some wiggle room throughout the month to pay for other expenses.”

Refinancing at a lower monthly payment can relieve some of the stress of repaying student loans while also empowering you to take further steps that will allow you to take charge of your finances today and set yourself up for success tomorrow.


Learn how refinancing your student loans could help make your payments manageable »

Naimesh Patel
Naimesh Patel is the general manager for personal and student lending
Ardell Montgomery
Ardell Montgomery, PNC branch manager in Coraopolis, Penn., was able to lower his interest rate and his monthly payment by refinancing his student loans. 

Student loans are the second largest debt market in America behind mortgage loans, said Naimesh Patel, general manager for personal and student lending.

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