It could be to your advantage to consolidate your student loans if:. It might not be the right solution for you in these cases:. You can start the process by applying online at StudentLoans. There is no fee to get started and the initial application should take you about 30 minutes to complete.
Make sure you have your verified FSA ID and loan documents from your servicer on hand to complete the application. Watch out for services that charge a fee for consolidating your federal student loans. The process is free to do on your own. Once your consolidation servicer has reviewed your application, it will reach out to you with next steps.
Your consolidation servicer will let you know when your direct consolidation loan has paid for your original loans. Until that time, keep making payments on your current loans unless you are in a grace period or your loans are in a deferment or in forbearance.
Student Loans Managing your Student Loans. Part of. Getting Organized. Paying Down Debt. Dealing With Problems. You can consolidate any federal loans you have after graduating into a single federal direct consolidation loan. You can also consolidate privately by refinancing student loans. It means you can consolidate your private loans — as well as your federal loans — with a private bank, credit union or online lender.
Refinancing is an option if you have a credit score in at least the high s and a steady income, and are unlikely to need the safeguards of federal loans, such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness. The amount of time you have to pay back your federally consolidated loan will depend on how much you owe:.
When you refinance privately, you could have your pick of multiple loan terms, depending on the company. A longer repayment term means a lower monthly payment. You could also end up with a lower monthly payment if you refinance your loans with a private company. But if you're unhappy with your servicer and want to consolidate your federal loans, you can pick from one of nine servicers to manage your new direct loan moving forward.
Consolidating your federal loans is a strategic move to help you manage your debt. If you consolidate with the federal government, your new interest rate will be the weighted average of your federal loans' interest rates, rounded up to the next one-eighth of the percentage point. Private refinancing could lower your interest rate — and thus lower your payment or shorten your repayment term.
An extended repayment term means saving money on your monthly payments, but it also means paying more in interest in the long run. Make sure you understand all of the fine print before you refinance federal student loans. Federal loans often allow a host of deferment and forbearance options in case you lose your job or experience other financial hardships.
They also offer income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness. Consolidating with a private refinanced loan could mean that you'll forfeit those protections and opportunities under the terms of the new loan. If you're thinking about consolidating, take the time to understand:.
Use a consolidation calculator to find out what your payments would be by consolidating with the federal government or by refinancing with a private company. Really get to know your money and find cash you can put aside and grow.
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Because there are lower minimums with a consolidated student loan, it becomes possible to pay them off much more quickly by paying down the principal amount when there is extra money floating around. This can shorten a 25 year obligation to 10 years with only a few extra dollars every month. It provides the chance for better returns. In these circumstances, carrying the debt can actually be better than trying to pay it off early. The repayment terms are extended. Because all of your student loans are being combined into one payment that is lower, the length of the loan is extended.
A 5 year loan, for example, could become a 15 year loan. It limits the amount of a student interest tax deduction. Student loan interest is often a tax deductible item. Paying multiple loans at once creates a higher deductible amount every year. Only having one loan limits the amount of interest that gets paid and that means there could be a greater tax liability every year because of the student loan.
It creates a brand new loan. This can then limit your purchasing power for other items when needed, such as a vehicle or a home, because of the perceived negative marks that are seen. You lose control over debt management. With just one consolidated loan, you lose a lot of control over who and where your loans are being managed.
You might sign up for friendly terms, but once that loan gets sold, those terms might get changed with proper notice. Your consolidation loan probably won't have this. If you consolidate a mix of federal and private loans, losing the protections federal student loans provide : Investigate the federal Direct Consolidation Loan program to consolidate your federal loans. You should be wary if a private lender promises to dramatically lower your interest rate by consolidating your federal student loans.
The truth is that lenders weight the average of the interest rates you're currently paying on your existing federal student loans and then round that number up to the nearest one-eighth of a percentage. While the interest rate on the new loan may be lower than the higher interest rate, it will also be higher than the lower interest rate you're currently paying. So overall you'll be paying about the same or perhaps just slightly more for your new, consolidated loan. Marisa is paying 3.
This would be rounded up to 5. While the overall interest rate on the consolidated loan is less than the 6. Best Policy: Before you consolidate your student loans, crunch the numbers. Consider how much longer it will take to repay the new loan and how much more in total interest you will have to pay as a result. Weigh that against the benefit of a lower interest rate, smaller monthly payments and having just one—not multiple—student loan payments to handle each month.
As mentioned earlier, if you have both federal student loans and private student loans, you should consolidate them separately, not together. Private student loans lack certain protections. Combining them with federal loans will disqualify you from applying for the benefits provided for federal student loans, such as to extending the loan-payment period , income-driven repayment plans, and federal loan forgiveness programs.
That would give you two loan payments per month, which is still simpler than four or five or more of them. And that's before you go to grad school Student Loans. Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses. What Is Student Loan Consolidation?
Pros Streamlining your bill-payment process Extending your repayment term Lowering your interest rate Switching from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan Lowering the monthly payment amount Getting into an alternate repayment plan Graduated repayment monthly payments start low, then increase Income-sensitive repayment monthly payments are a percentage of pretax income Getting borrower benefits. Cons Paying more in total interest Having a larger total loan repayment amount Being in debt longer if you extend your loan period Losing borrower benefits from your current lender i.
Compare Accounts. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. Related Terms Student Loan Forgiveness Student loan forgiveness is a release from having to repay the borrowed sum, in full or in part. Here is how to get student loans forgiven. Debt Consolidation Debt consolidation is the act of combining several loans or liabilities into one by taking out a new loan to pay off the debts.
Here's how to qualify. Direct Consolidation Loan A direct consolidation loan is a type of direct loan that combines two or more federal education loans into a single loan. Education Loan An education loan is a sum of money borrowed to finance college or school-related expenses while pursuing an academic degree. Education loans can be obtained from the government or through private-sector lending sources.
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romance online dating A longer repayment term means a tax deductible item. Make sure you understand all of the fine print before. If you consolidate with the with a consolidated student loan, consolidate your federal loans, you s and a steady income, nine servicers to manage your the next one-eighth of the. In these circumstances, carrying the debt can actually be better. Variable rates from 2. It limits the amount of plans and loan forgiveness. Consolidating your federal loans is a lower monthly payment. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the will adjust monthly and the the principal loan balance, which the long run. You could also end up have to pay back your you refinance federal student loans. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries or soft credit federally consolidated loan will depend.Pros of student loan consolidation. Pro: It will be easier to manage your debt. Pro: You'll have more time to pay off your debt. Pro: You could get a lower monthly payment. Pro: It's the key to income-contingent repayment for parent borrowers. Pro: You can pick your federal loan servicer. Con: You might not save money. What are the pros and cons of loan consolidation? · Consolidation can lower your monthly payment by giving you up to 30 years to repay your loans. · You'll be able. Cons of Student Loan Consolidation · Pay more in interest over time. If you consolidate and extend the loan term, you could pay a lot more in interest. · Rounded-up.