Student Loans can be a heavy burden. Student loan default rates continue to be high and are a growing problem. A default on a student loan can wreck havoc with a young person credit score, when they are just starting out.
What is Student Loan Consolidation?
Student loan Consolidation can help, not only in avoiding default but in making monthly payments more manageable. According to the Higher Education Act, just about every kind of Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or Direct Loan is eligible for consolidation. Both undergraduate and graduate school student loans qualify. There are a few specific exceptions and these can be found listed at http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.
These federal programs make student loan repayment easier by combining several types of Federal education loans regardless if they have different terms, different repayment schedules - even if they have been made by different lenders into one often lower interest loan. In addition, the monthly payment amount on a consolidated student loan is usually lower and the schedule of payments is usually extended to one that is more reasonable. These features are designed to create a much more manageable debt and should make borrowers less prone to default.
Is it Right For Me?
Just about anyone with outstanding student loans can benefit from consolidation. However you need to seriously consider it if:
Your Monthly Payments Have Become Unmanageable. If you are in danger of default, if you have had trouble meeting your monthly payments, and have exhausted your deferment and forbearance options, student loan consolidation should be serials y considered. There are online calculators available that can help you determine what you new payments would be under the various program available.
You have Multiple Payments to Multiple Lenders. If you want to avoid the hassles of sending different payments to different lenders every month with a Direct Student Consolidation Loan you wile b making only one payment to one lender every month
You have Variable Interest Rate Student Loans. The interest rate for a Direct Consolidation Loan is fixed for the life of the Direct Consolidation Student Loan. Interest rates on consolidated student loans are calculated by using a weighted average of the interest rate on the loans being consolidated and have a cap of 8.25%
Should I use a Student Loan Consolidation Service?
Consolidating your student loans through the US Department of Education is free and anyone can apply. However if you realize you will benefit from student loan consolidation, or are seriously in over your head and facing default, you may want to consider using the services of a professional lender that specializes in student loan consolidation. They have the ability to look at multiple loan programs available from multiple lenders and not just the programs available from the federal government. A professional Student Loan consolidation company can quickly and easily assess your situation and match you with a consolidated loan that is right for you and your financial situation.
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