Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Student Loan Consolidation - Educate Then Consolidate and Have a Life

The option of a student loan consolidation becomes apparent when you begin to repay your student loan debt. If you, like many other students, had to take out loans from a variety of sources, it can be difficult making all of those payments separately. This is especially true if you are facing varying interest rates. By combining your loans into one payment and one interest rate, you can save money. Before you do though, there are things you need to research before you sign on the bottom line.

When you took out your student loans, it was a lengthy process filled with paperwork. At the time you probably paid little attention to the details of the agreements, such as how long you had as a grace period before repayment was to begin, what type of interest rate you would be charged and even how much the total amount of loans would be as you continued through school. Many students do not pay attention to how much money they are taking out each semester, only to be shell shocked when the first notification for payment arrives after graduation.

Just as with college student credit card debt, the student loan you took out has to be repaid. But the total payment can often be too high for recent college graduates who have just entered the workforce. A loan consolidation is the best option for having a lender combine each loan with a common interest rate. Then, you pay that fee which is usually lower than the combined payments from before. There are some pitfalls though and you must be aware of them before signing your name.

The catch with student loan consolidation is that it only works on your education loan. You cannot use it to refinance your student credit card debt and many private bank loans do not qualify for consolidation. You must check with your lenders before signing any paperwork. The goal is to reduce your monthly payment, not to add to it with an increased interest rate.

The key to using a student loan consolidator is to understand all of the fine print and to ask as many questions as you need. This is your money and future on the line. Do not agree to a monthly payment that is too high for you to repay. Defaulting on student loan payments can ruin your credit rating very quickly and make you ineligible for deferments in case of an emergency. Always know what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

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