How Summer Saved a Tufts Grad $68K in Student Loan Debt

Jamie, a recent Tufts graduate, wanted to pursue a career where she could focus on improving agriculture and food systems. Unfortunately, the specialized education required for that career came with a hefty price tag: $109,227.65 in student debt.

Jamie developed her passion for the environment as a teenager backpacking through landscapes in Utah and Alaska. After later traveling to countries in Africa and Central America and seeing how the degradation of land could devastate agriculture and contribute to malnutrition, she decided to pursue a graduate degree in agriculture and nutrition policy at Tufts University.

Today, Jamie works at a non-profit think tank in San Francisco where she researches sustainable farming practices with a focus on improving water quality and nutrient retention in soil.

Though finally at her dream job, Jamie was feeling defeated when it came to her student loans—“a bit like an abyss”—when she saw an email from Tufts about a new partnership with Summer.

“Because it’s such a long time frame, these decisions are hard to make,” Jamie said. Thankfully, Jamie was able to use Summer’s tools to compare her options and enroll in a free federal savings plan. By doing so, Jamie reduced her monthly payment amount from $910.23 to $294.08, saving her an estimated $68,194.58 over the lifetime of her loans.

Here’s how she did it:

Background

  • Age: 26
  • Education: MS in Agriculture, Food, and Environment; MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Home base: San Francisco
  • Occupation: Think tank analyst

Original loan situation

  • 8 loans
    • 5 Direct Stafford Unsubsidized loans
    • 3 Direct PLUS Graduate loans
  • Standard 10-year repayment plan
    • Note: Jamie’s servicer had placed her in an ICR plan, which did not maximize her savings
  • Original monthly payment: $910.23
  • Total projected payment: $109,227.65

Summer’s recommendation

  • PAYE (federal income-driven repayment program to reduce monthly payment amounts) paired with PSLF (forgiveness program after 10 years working in public service)
  • Reduced monthly payment: $294.08
  • Total projected payment: $41,044.07
  • Total projected savings: $68,194.58

By creating a free account and syncing her loans, Jamie was able to check her eligibility for relevant programs and see initial savings estimates. Summer automatically compared her payment options across hundreds of different scenarios and spotted a significantly better path for her loans.

“The product was really straightforward,” Jamie said. “Filling out the necessary forms through Summer also made it really easy to submit them.”

If you’re in a situation similar to Jamie, sign up for early access to our tools. We’re taking borrowers off our waitlist every day to check their eligibility for free savings programs based on their loan types and individual financial circumstances. Sorting through all the options can certainly be daunting, but our team of experts (many of us are borrowers, too!) is here to make sure you don’t have to do it alone.