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Federal Student Loan Consolidation - Get Your Facts Straight Now!

Sep 4, 2007
If that is what it takes to improve your life, you should be proud you did it. Fortunately for all of us stuck with student loan debt there are federal student loan consolidation programs that can cut your student loan payments in half.

These programs will combine multiple loans into one loan which not only will save you money but it cuts out the hassle of multiple payment to multiple lenders.

Consolidation Backed By Federal Government

Federal student loan consolidation is backed by the federal government and allows you to extend your repayment terms.

If you have Stafford loans, you have a variable interest rate that adjusts annually. When you opt to consolidate, you get the choice to lock in at a low rate and there are many offers out there that will charge you no fees.

They want your business and you should shop around. There are many competing financial institutions that are competing for your money and that puts you in the drivers seat. You want to insist on the best possible deal on the market.

Consolidation Loans Federal Providers

Sallie Mae is a government institution that offers a 'Best Rate Promise.' They guarantee you that they will give you the 'lowest official student loan rates available to you' when you consolidate. If you have just graduated and your loans carry a variable rate you want to consolidate before your six month grace period ends.

If you consolidate your loans before the end of the six month grace period ends, many of you can lock in 6.625% or 6.75% interest rates.

If you put it off until after the grace period your rate will be more like 7.125% to 7.25%.These rates vary, so check them out carefully before you buy.

Consolidated Federal Loan Downsides

Federal student loan consolidation does have a downside. When you consolidate your loans, it lowers your payment by extending the amount of time you have to pay off the loan. With federal student loan consolidation you get to choose if you want a standard repayment in which your monthly payment for the life of the loan is fixed.

If you opt for graduated repayment your payments start low and increase at intervals specified by the lender.

There is also an income sensitive repayment in which your payment is determined by your income. This type of consolidation will increase as your income increases.

Watch Out For Minimum Payment Schedules

No matter what type of loan you choose the federal rules governing student loans set a minimum payment of fifty dollars. These rules are relaxed for the income sensitive repayment option. The most popular choice is the standard repayment. The payment always stays the same.

If you choose any loan beside the standard repayment, it does not mean you are locked in. You do have the option of changing your mind and applying for one of the other types of loans. The option may still be open but it depends on the terms of your loan.

You can always contact your lender for a full review of your options.
About the Author
(c) 2007 Best Student Loan Guide. Products, services and step-by-step guidance to help you make the best decisions you can. Checkout Martin Haworth's website for all you need at http://www.Best-Student-Loan-Guide.com
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