Student loan consolidation is often a very popular topic among recent college graduates. Many students leave college with a sizable amount of debt and begin searching for ways to help manage that debt, with student loan consolidation being a popular option. Familiarize yourself with student loan consolidation by checking out these 10 Best Student Loan Consolidation Tips:
1. Understand that student loan consolidation extends the repayment period of your student loans, which can end up reducing your monthly student loan payments, but may cause you to pay more over the lifetime of the loan, because you pay more interest on the loan.
2. Never consolidate your private student loans with your federal student loans. This is perhaps the most important student loan consolidation tip out there. If you consolidate your federal student loans into a private consolidation loan, you will forfeit all the great benefits associated with your federal student loans.
3. For private student loan consolidation it will be important for you to ask if the loan has a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. For more on this read: Fixed Rate Private Student Loan Consolidation
4. For private student loan consolidation you will want to ask the lender if there are any pre-payment penalties associated with the consolidation loan.
5. Never pay an up-front fee for federal student loan consolidation. There is no up-front fee associated with federal student loan consolidation. In some loan consolidation circumstances, fees will be deducted from the disbursement check, but you should never have to pay an up-front fee.
6. If you received a fee waiver or rebate from your original student loan lender, you should check to see if you will have to repay that fee should you consolidate with another lender.
7. The best student loan consolidation company for private student loans is subjective. Private student loans differ from lender to lender, so you need to research the pros and cons of private student loan consolidation for your specific situation.
8. Compare the benefits provided by the current holder of your loans to those provided by the consolidation lender. Many times the loan discounts offered by the originating loan lenders are better than those offered by consolidating lenders. You will want to factor this into your decision when considering student loan consolidation.
9. If you are planning on going back to college, consider that typically you cannot defer payments on a private loan consolidation. You can however, with federal loan consolidation.
10. In addition to federal student loan consolidation, consider that certain types of work, volunteer programs and military service can make you eligible to have some or all of your federal student loans dismissed. For more on loan forgiveness read our section on Student Loan Forgiveness Programs.