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More Information About Student Loan Consolidation

Aug 17, 2007
Student loans help all prospective students by financing their educational expenses. The cost of higher education is high and not all students are able to pay their fees. The main difference between student loans and other types of loans is that student loans have much lower rate of interest and nearly everyone is approved for a student loan. Unlike other loans, the applicant is not scrutinized for credit history or income.

It is estimated that approximately 20% of all college students rely on some type of financial aid in the form of student loans. These loans are the best option for anyone undergoing a college education and requiring funds to finance some part of that process. While this makes getting a college education easy in terms of finances, the downside is that many students often leave college under heavy debt. This problem is compounded by the fact that they may have taken multiple loans from different lenders ,so managing the finances becomes a serious burden. In order to make things easier in such a situation, it is recommended that you make use of student loan consolidation.

Student loan consolidation is simply the process of taking all the different types of student loans you may have acquired while attending college and converting them into a single loan that you need to repay to a single lender with a new repayment plan. This is quite similar to refinancing a house. Student loan consolidation pays off the outstanding balance on all the loans, then takes that total balance and converts it into a single new loan. This way students have the convenience of repaying a single loan instead of multiple ones.

The biggest advantage of student loan consolidation is the integration of all loans into a single monthly bill. The second advantage is that after consolidation you will be charged a much lower rate of interest on the consolidated loan and this means huge savings. Also, consolidated loans offer a lot more flexibility when it comes to repayments. They have no fees, additional charges, or any prepayment fines. You do not need to provide co-signers or credit checks when consolidating your student loans.

In order to get a student loan consolidation, you may approach any bank or credit union that is a part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program. It does not really matter which way you go because most of the terms and conditions for student loan consolidation are the same. The important thing to do is to check with your current debtors. In case all of your current loans are with a single lender then it is recommended you consolidate your loans with the same lender.

Also remember that you can only do student loan consolidation once, unless if you are going to take more loans. This is why it is important you get the best possible deal when you are consolidating. Though the interest rate is not likely to differ much from one lender to the next, some of them might offer future discounts on prompt payment as well as a discount for monthly payments directly debited to your account. All these options are available to you when you go for consolidation within the 6-month grace period after which your repayment begins. If you are going for loan consolidation, always do it before this grace period expires to get the lowest possible interest rate.

The two critical aspects in your consolidation plan are the interest rate and the repayment plan.

Most student loans have a repayment plan spanning around 10 years. Depending on how you go about your student loan consolidation, you might be able to stretch this to around 30 years. Just keep in mind that this means it will take that much longer before you are free of debt. Also, a longer repayment plan means paying a lot more even with a low rate of interest. The interest rate on a consolidated loan is already low, so it is recommended that you keep the repayment plan as short as possible to avoid long-term payment from nullifying the benefits of a low interest rate.

The student loan process itself is quite confusing. The federal government got involved in student loans since 1965 and over the years there have been many policy changes and bills that have created many types of loan programs. Besides the federal government, there are also many private lending institutions offering student loans. Be wary of the student loan you select because choosing an option like "adjustable rate" could mean a low interest rate that will go up like anything.

Always check with the Department of Education before settling on a loan.
About the Author
For more information on student loan consolidation go to http://www.ConsolidationFind.com or visit http://www.articleadvocate.com/Category/Debt-Consolidation/100
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