It's January of your senior year and time to start thinking
about all those loans you took to help pay for college. Between
Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans and all the rest, between
subsidized and unsubsidized you begin to realize that a year
from now you will have run out of grace period and have to start
paying back all those loans. You're going to be paying back
eight different loans at eight different interest rates and
eight terms. It's time to start thinking about a student
A student consolidation loan could be worth it just to simplify
your repayment schedules. But more importantly, if you can get a
loan with a lower interest rate than you are paying on your
school loans, then you can save yourself some money. If the
consolidation loan extends the length of your student loan
payback term, then it may have the added benefit of lowering the
monthly payment now (when you aren't making a large salary). You
can always increase your payments as your salary grows.
How to Consolidate Your Student Loans
After deciding to consolidate your student loans, the next step
is to figure out how to go about it. You may have several
choices of lenders, and what you choose could affect the amount
you ultimately pay. Choose carefully.
The Department of Education provides the Federal Direct
Consolidation Loans Program. Numerous states have student
consolidation loans, some for your federal loans and others for
your state loans. Then there are private lenders offering
consolidation loans as well. You might first check with your
current loan providers to see what they have to offer. They may
have a better deal for current customers.
Federal Direct Consolidation Loans
Federal Direct Consolidation Loans are run by the US Department
of Education and provide a means to combine multiple Federal
loans into one.
You can apply online for the Federal Direct Program by visiting
the FDCL website.
State Student Consolidation Loans
Several states offer consolidation loans as part of their
education loan programs. Check with your state to see if they
have a loan consolidation program.
Private Student Consolidation Loans
Private loans can not be consolidated under the Federal Direct
Plan. If you have private loans that can't qualify for the
federal and state student loan consolidation programs, there are
many lenders who make private consolidation loans available to
students. Check with your own lenders first to see if they have
a consolidation program.
Student loan consolidation is another case where a little work
now can pay off in the long run by saving you time, money and
lots of aggravation.
Ken is a successful writer and online entrepreneur. He has
developed http://www.college-loans.us as a portal for presenting articles, information, resources,
news and links about college scholarships, grants and loans.
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