Federal Student Loan Forgiveness - Reduce Payments to Minimum?

TL:DR - is it better to reduce payments to a minimum if I qualify for government employment forgiveness of my student loans within 5 years?


I'm 5 years into the required 10 for government service student loan forgiveness. I've just started with a Federal agency that I have no intention of leaving for the remainder of that time. I'm wondering if anyone has advice on whether or not I should reduce my current loan payments from the regular repayment plan to the minimum since it will free up a significant amount of money.


Another confounding factor is that, due to a marriage, cross country move, divorce, another move, and some ill advised retail therapy all in one year, I've racked up a fair amount of credit card debt that I'd love to pay off. Right now all of my money goes to bills (I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country) or debt which is no fun when you're barely past age 30... I'm hoping that it is smart to reduce my loan payments to kill the credit card debt, put away some significant savings, and maybe even be able to afford to have fun.


The numbers:


Federal Student Loans: $83,500

Current Monthly Payment (regular graduated repayment): $850

Extended Graduated Repayment monthly payment start: $490. Highest payment: $930.

Extended Fixed Repayment: $640.


Any advice would be much appreciated!


WallaWalla, I understand that you are looking for advice on reducing your student loan payments in order to pay off credit card debt. One of the benefits of your membership is access to free financial advice. Our licensed financial advisors can help you select the right financial plan for your individual needs. Please call 1-800-531-USAA (8722). Financial advisors are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. CT and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT. Best of luck to you on reaching your financial goals! ~Darcy