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Consolidating Student Loans Can Help Reduce Your Debt

Aug 17, 2007
Consolidating student loans is a savings option available through lending companies to assist graduating students when they leave college. This is done through one combined loan with an extended payment schedule which results in a smaller monthly payment. Would this benefit you? If you are like most students, you had to take out numerous loans for college, each with its own interest rate and its own monthly payment. It didn't matter at the time because you needed to finish up school and get the tuition bills paid. Now that its time to start repaying those loans, its understandable that you may be getting frustrated and confused over not only managing those different loans but having to make the monthly payments. It's a good idea to consider consolidating your student loans as it can really help you ease the financial burden, and give you some peace of mind.

Research
Do your research when investigating lenders. Don't assume all lenders are created equal. Its unfortunate but not all consolidation companies on the block are genuine. Just like you did in college, you need to make sure you do your homework and find a credible lending institution.

Consolidate your federal and private loans separately.
Many times graduates in haste will try to consolidate all their federal and private student loans into one. This can cause you to lose some of your federal loan benefits. One example is if you combine both private and federal loans you can lose out on the interest tax deduction benefit you get with your federal student loans. You'll need to be careful as there are many benefits to keeping these loans separate, especially when consolidating.

Extended payments
When consolidating student loans, lenders can extend the payment schedule to 10, 20 or 30 years. Be aware that you are mainly getting the benefit of a lower monthly payment because the payments have been extended and not necessarily because of the lower interest rate. The way to make this work to your benefit is, once you have obtained the lower interest rate, pay more towards the monthly bill. This way you will pay off your loan faster than normal and at a lower rate. Keep in mind that you should only put more towards paying it off when you can afford it.

While comparing and choosing the best lender, try to consider those who offer flexible application procedures. The lenders that offer online applications including online account management facilities give you the flexibility to manage your accounts from virtually anywhere. Whether you simply want the ease of paying one monthly bill or you want to lower your interest rate and monthly payment, consolidating student loans can help to reduce your debt.
About the Author
For more resources to help you with consolidating student loans , visit http://www.student-loan-zone.com.
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