Can You Trust Student Loan Advice from Reddit?
Reddit can be a great source for anecdotal tips, but it’s still anonymous advice and therefore shouldn’t be relied upon for making important decisions—especially when it comes to your personal finances. Instead, make sure you verify advice that you find on Reddit with another, trusted resource before following it.
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Student loan balances in the United States have reached staggering proportions; in fact, the current total student loan debt burden is at $1.4 trillion, with over $2,800 in new student debt accrued by Americans every second of every day. The average student graduates with over $37,000 in student loan debt before they even start their first job.
Unfortunately, while the federal government and private lenders are happy to loan students money for school, they aren’t as good about teaching those students how to appropriately manage their debt—or how far-reaching the consequences could be if they get into trouble during repayment. As a result, many student and graduate borrowers turn to internet forums for answers from fellow students, other peers, or whoever is feels like offering advice.
Sites like Reddit, Quora, and others allow people to share their own experiences or offer free, even unsolicited advice to anyone who asks for it. The subreddit r/studentloans has more than five million subscribers. Although there are often good tips to be found in these forums, you should be careful before making any decisions based upon it. The person giving you that advice could be ignorant of the specifics of your situation, or they could just be plain wrong—and that means you could end up in even more financial trouble if you follow it.
On this page:
- 5 Student Loan Topics People Are Asking About on Reddit
- 3 Interesting Threads We Found on Reddit Student Loans
- One Bad Piece of Advice We Found on Reddit
5 Student Loan Topics People Are Asking About on Reddit
Here is some trusted information about the top five topics people ask about on r/studentloans.
- Student Loan Refinancing
- Student Loan Consolidation
- The Best Private Student Loans
- SoFi Student Loans
- Discover Student Loans
Student Loan Refinancing
A refinance is when you get a new loan that pays off all of the old ones. You can get a better interest rate or lower payment, depending on how you set up the new loan. In the long run, you could save money or be better able to keep up with your monthly payments.
Refinancing is only offered by private lenders, even if some or all of the debt you’re refinancing is from federal loans.
It’s important to understand your current loans and whether or not a refinance would actually save you money in the short or long term; you should also understand how much you can afford to pay each month and your ultimate goals for refinancing.
LendEDU’s student loan refinance calculator can help by showing you how much you could be saving if you refinance your loans. You could also check out and compare the eight best student loan refinancing companies to see which is a good fit for your needs.
Student Loan Consolidation
If you only have federal student loans, you may be interested in a student loan consolidation—a service which is only available through the federal government. It’s similar to a refinance in that you’ll receive one new loan to pay off all of your former individual loans. However, instead of negotiating a new rate on a private loan, you’ll simply receive a lump-sum loan with a rate equal to the weighted average of all your previous interest rates. Because of this, student loan consolidation is more of a convenience play than a cost-saving one.
Best Private Student Loans
Private student loans, offered by banks, credit unions, online lenders, and other financial services companies are based on borrower creditworthiness instead of financial need, and so they can be a bit harder to get approved for than a federal student loan.
There are many options for private student loans, so we ranked, rated, and reviewed the best private student loans for college to give you a head start on your search.
SoFi Student Loans
This online lender is extremely popular with those looking to refinance their student loans. SoFi offers a host of financial products, but their core business is student loan refinancing. You can check out our SoFi Student Loan Refinancing review for more information.
Discover Student Loans
Although they’re known more for their credit card products, Discover also offers loans, student loan consolidation, and a variety of flexible student loan repayment plans. If you’ve already exhausted your federal student loan options, you should consider Discover. You can read our full review of Discover Student Loans.
3 Interesting Threads We Found on Reddit Student Loans
If you Google the phrase “reddit student loans,” you’ll get thousands of results—and not all of them will have good advice for you. We’ve done the work so you don’t have to; here are three threads worth reading on r/studentloans.
- A Bankruptcy Lawyer Hosts an AMA About Student Loans
- How to Identify a Student Loan Scam
- Reddit Paid Off Student Loans
A Bankruptcy Lawyer Hosts an AMA About Student Loans
While you might find it odd that an attorney dealing in bankruptcy would be talking about student loans, the truth is that educational debt can put you in bankruptcy if it’s not managed correctly. In addition, even after bankruptcy you’ll still have those loans to pay back. This discussion is both interesting and worth your time.
How to Identify a Student Loan Scam
There are, unfortunately, people out there who take advantage of students who needed money for school and are now looking for answers on how to manage their debt appropriately. This Reddit thread can help you spot when someone is trying to scam you. Hint: You should never have to pay someone to get their help with managing your student loans.
Reddit Paid Off Student Loans
In this thread, people share their experiences about repayment, and how they were able to eliminate their student debt by getting it paid off. Their exact methods might not work for you, but it often helps to find motivation and inspiration in the stories of those who’ve been where you are and made it to the other side.
>> Read More: How to pay off student loans fast
One Bad Piece of Advice We Found on Reddit
As we’ve already said, not all the advice on Reddit is good; in fact, this particular thread is definitely bad advice. In addition to some unkind words to Navient and Sallie Mae, the poster advises student loan borrowers not to ever, “under any circumstances,” pay back their student loans.
It’s true that student loans are a financial burden and can make life a lot more difficult during the repayment phase. It’s also pretty obvious that the student loan debt system in the U.S. is flawed.
However, student loans don’t simply go away if you don’t pay them. In fact, choosing to ignore your student loans can result in consequences ranging from a poor credit score to seeing your federal income tax refund garnished and applied to your debt every year until it’s paid off.
The good news is that if you find that you’re having a hard time keeping up with loan payments, you have options and help is available—including refinancing, income-based repayment (IBR), and other ways to help you make payments on time.
Rather than ignoring your student loans, take charge of them. Understand your options, do some research—and never blindly follow advice from Reddit unless you’ve verified it with another trusted source with years of experience.
Author: Jeanette Perez