When you consolidate student loans – either federal or private – it’s one payment to one lender, once-a-month. Loan consolidation for student loans was created to make it easier for millions of borrowers to pay off their debt.
Both federal and private lenders recognize that lower monthly payments help may be the best option, if you don’t get the job you want immediately after graduating from colleges.
Under the Direct Loan Consolidation Program, you can consolidate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs), Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs), PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEALs), and just about any other type of federal student loan.
Loans that are not eligible for consolidation include state or private loans that are not federally guaranteed.
Consolidating federal student loans may be a good strategy to lower monthly payments or to get out of default, but it is not always a good idea.
As you weigh the pros and cons, keep in mind that timing is critical.
Additionally, you’ll get a new loan term ranging from 10 to 30 years.
Having more accounts is not automatically a negative factor in your credit history.
However, you also could qualify when you leave school or are enrolled less than half-time.
You can’t consolidate private loans in the federal Direct Consolidation Loan program, but some private lenders allow you to consolidate federal and private loans together.
Most of them could streamline the repayment process by consolidating their student loans. Get Financial Help Now It simplifies repayment and could save you money.
It is quite common for people with student loans to deal with 10-12 lending institutions, which means 10-12 payments and 10-12 due dates each month.
With just a few exceptions, you get only one chance to consolidate with the government loan programs.
WARNING: It is very dangerous to consolidate federal loans into a private consolidation loan.
The reason has to do with the way student loans actually work as opposed to how we think about them.
Even when you are applying through the same lender, you are basically taking out a new loan each semester or year.
When you consolidate federal loans, your new fixed interest rate will be the weighted average of your previous rates, rounded up to the next ⅛ of 1%.
So, for instance: If the average comes to 6.15%, your new interest rate will be 6.25%.