07.12.13 | Pros and Cons of Private Student Loan Consolidation

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. (more…)

10.08.12 | How to Refinance your Student Loans

Posted in Consolidation, Private Student Loans, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

When students take out private student loans for the first time, they usually have little to no credit history built up. This means, their interest rates probably weren’t ideal, or they applied with a cosigner. If you’re one of these borrowers with high interest rates, refinancing (consolidating) your student loans could save you money, especially if your credit has improved over time!

Refinancing student loans can be great for borrowers with high interest rates, or even who need to lower their monthly payments. To get started, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Do Some Research

There are a few different banks and lenders that are available to consolidate student loans. Compare your student loan refinancing options to see the different benefits and find which loan is right for you.

Step 2: Calculate your Potential Savings

Student Loan Consolidation CalculatorThe consolidation payment calculator at StudentLoanConsolidator.com can provide a good estimate of the amount you can save on your monthly payments by refinancing your student loans. Keep in mind that any calculator you use is an estime and to find out your actual interest rate and monthly payment, you’ll need to start the application process.
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09.28.12 | 5 Reasons to Consolidate your Student Loans

Pile of Bills

1. Easier Repayment

If you have loans from many different lenders, staying on top of your payments can be tough. Consolidation can help to streamline the repayment process, so you only need to send one check, to one lender (two if you have both federal and private loans).

2. Better Discounts

Many lenders offer student loan discounts for a variety of situations. Discounts can include interest rate reductions for setting up automatic payments, or even for being a current customer of that bank. If your loan does not have any incentives like this, then consolidation may save you some money.
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02.10.12 | Special Direct Consolidation Loans

Posted in Consolidation, Loan Consolidation, Repayment, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Merging money street signIn a recent State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned a Special Direct Consolidation Loan available to some borrowers with federal loans. This loan is not your typical Direct Consolidation Loan, and is only available for a brief period this year. This is a great opportunity for borrowers with the old, FFEL loans, as it will make managing repayment a much simpler task. Let’s take a look at how this loan works.

Background

First, let’s understand a little bit about historical student loans. Before Direct Loans came into play, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program included four types of loans: Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation. These loans, while still federally guaranteed loans, were made by private lenders and serviced privately. Now under the Direct Loan Program, federal loans are funded directly through the government (though there are four companies who service the loan on behalf of the Dept. of Education).
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03.22.11 | From our Archives: Consolidation

Posted in Loan Consolidation by Student Loan Network Staff

For students about to graduate, you may want to check out the article New Grads, Start Thinking About Consolidation. This will give you helpful tips on why consolidation can be a good option.

Conversely, the article What NOT to do when Consolidating your Student Loans tells you just that. It provides useful information on the types of situations where consolidation might not be the best option.

While consolidation for federal loans is usually a good idea, it may not be so black and white with private loans. In the current economy, private lenders have been reluctant to grant consolidation loans. Should I Consolidate my Private Student Loans can help students to decide how and where to go to consolidate their private loans.

Still have questions about consolidation? This post may be able to help. From Our Forums: Consolidation Question Quartet! answers a few common questions about consolidating federal loans. Maybe it’ll answer yours. If not, you can always check out the Financial Aid Forum’s consolidation help section.

Hopefully these articles will proves useful in the upcoming months. Remember, if you need more information regarding loan consolidation, visit StudentLoanConsolidator.com.

06.07.10 | Nervous about a Private Student Loan? Don’t Be!

Posted in Private Student Loans by Evan Jacobs

A lot of students and their families are hesitant, for a variety of reasons, about taking out a private student loan. While federal aid and scholarships/grants are always the best options, it is often necessary to use a private loan to cover the remainder of the cost of attendance. Here are some facts to help ease your concerns about private loans:

  1. You CAN get a private loan with bad credit. You just need to find a parent or trusted family member to cosign the loan for you. A good cosigner is anyone who regularly pays his or her bills on time and is not trapped under a mountain of debt. Plus, a good cosigner can help you get a better interest rate, which can save you money.
  2. You CAN afford a private loan, if you plan accordingly. Among the best ways to plan ahead is to only take out what you need. If you take out more than one loan, you may also choose to consolidate in order to receive a lower monthly payment and better interest rate.
  3. You CAN find a trusted lender. Yes, there are plenty of shady lenders out there who are only out to scam you. Always be sure to do some research before providing personal information to a lender. One great area to start is with our Private Student Loan comparison tool, which features only trusted, legitimate private loan lenders.

05.11.10 | Unemployed with Student Loans?

Posted in Consolidation, Stafford Loan by Evan Jacobs

It seems like a cosmic joke for many post-grads – you pay all this money for a college degree, you graduate, and now you can’t find a job.  Worse, you’re expected to start paying off those student loans.

One way to make life a little easier is to defer your student loans. Deferment essentially suspends student loan repayment based on certain situations, unemployment being one of them. You are allowed to defer your loans up to three years.

One of the drawbacks of deferment is that the interest rate remains variable and could adjust frequently by the time you are able to start making payments. However, if you consolidate your federal student loans prior to applying for deferment, you can lock in the interest rate and lower your eventual monthly payment.

Click here to consolidate your student loans.

Click here to download the deferment forms.

04.08.10 | A Quick Consolidation Tip

Posted in Loan Consolidation by Evan Jacobs

Looking to consolidate federal and private student loans? While you can’t consolidate them together – and you wouldn’t want to anyway, you can take the consolidation of both types of loans to your advantage.

You can consolidate your federal student loans any time after you graduate or drop below halftime enrollment.  Always consolidate federal loans first. Consolidating your loans will improve your credit rating, and when you go to consolidate your private loans, which are credit-based, you will have a better score and most likely get a lower interest rate.

For more information on loan consolidation (federal and private), visit www.StudentLoanConsolidator.com.

04.06.10 | From Our Forum: Can I Consolidate Again?

Posted in Consolidation, Loan Consolidation by Evan Jacobs

Based on a great question from our Financial Aid Forum, I’d like to take a second today to talk about multiple loan consolidations.

Our reader asks:

I have new federal loans and old federal loans. I consolidated my old federal loans to a private company (great lakes) several years ago. Can I consolidate my new federal loans and my old loans that I consolidated once may years ago into one loan now? If so how do I do this and what would the rates be like currently for this type of consolidation. My new federal loans were disrupted after 2006 and my old loans which I consolidated in 2002 are at a rate of 3.25%. (more…)

03.31.10 | Consolidation Can Improve Your Credit

Posted in Consolidation, Loan Consolidation by Evan Jacobs

Seems strange, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t think that taking out a new consolidation loan could actually benefit your credit score and history, but you would be surprised of the positive impact it has on your record.

Let’s think about the process abstractly for a moment. Say you have six federal loans, and three private student loans accruing interest on your credit history. This means that you have nine open loans under your social security number, not including any revolving lines of credit (credit cards, store cards) you may have, among other potential things. The object of the game is to have as few items on your credit record as possible, while keeping them all up-to-date on payments and establishing solid account history with them. (more…)