Pros and Cons of Private Student Loan Consolidation | 07.12.13

Congratulations on finally finishing college.  While it’s great to be working and living on your own, you now get to pay your own bills (and yes, now you finally understand why your parents always yelled at you for taking more than 10 minutes in the shower).  Amongst these bills, the most pressing may be those student loan repayment letters that start to arrive all too soon after graduation.  With student loan debt averaging out to $23,000 per borrower, you could end up paying $200 per month for the next 15 years!

Fortunately, there is an alternative: college loan consolidation. Student loan consolidation enables you to lower your monthly payments and pay back your loan over a longer period of time. To give you a better idea, let’s explore the pros and cons of consolidating your student loans.

Pros

  • Reduced Monthly Payments — Student loan consolidation enables you to reduce your monthly payments and combine your loans into one monthly payment to eliminate the stress of sending checks to 4 different lenders.
  • Lower Interest Rates — Consolidating your loans may lower your interest rate if your credit has improved since the time that you took out the loan(s).

Cons

  • Higher Total Payments — Through lowering your monthly payments, consolidation will require a longer period of time to repay your entire loan, and will result in you paying much more over the life of the loan than you otherwise would.
  • Loss of Grace Period — With consolidation, the borrower forfeits any grace period on their loans, thus beginning their loan repayment immediately. This is why it’s best to consolidate closer to your repayment date.

Ultimately, there are positive and negative aspects of consolidation, and only you can decide if consolidation is right for you. Read more about private loan consolidation, and check out our student loan consolidation calculator to see how much you can reduce your monthly payments by.


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