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When it comes to consolidation, the types of loans you have matters, but most federal loans, including Stafford, Perkins, Direct Plus and Supplemental loans, can be consolidated with other federal student loans.“The interest rate on (federal) consolidation loans is an average of the interest rates on the (federal) loans you’re consolidating,” says Ken O’Connor, director of student advocacy for Fynanz, a New York City firm providing technology for the private student loan market.The time to buy is now, but you can still reduce your debt if you don’t currently own a home.Here are your options: A personal loan could help you consolidate your debt into one low monthly payment and save.And once consolidated, they usually have variable interest rates, O’Connor says. Consolidating private student loans when interest rates are low (like now) “could potentially save thousands of dollars.” It also means your interest rate can fluctuate higher as the years tick by.Unlike federal loans, it can be trickier to get your private loans consolidated.“With (our student loan program), if the borrower makes 12 months of on-time principal and interest payments, they can request to release the co-signer,” he says.“That creates tremendous flexibility, especially for families applying for loans for multiple kids.” Students consolidating federal loans can do so through the Department of Education’s website at Loan gov, by phone at (800) 557-7392 or by downloading a paper application at Loan gov/borrower/and mailing it in.
Loan consolidation is when a borrower takes out a new loan to pay off several smaller student loans.
These loans usually offer a lower interest rate than credit cards.
Plus, the interest you pay may be tax deductible (consult a tax advisor).
Consolidation provides grads with the ability to combine their student loans into one megaloan, but it comes with drawbacks.
Along with gaining a new degree, many graduates will also leave campus with new student loan payments they’ll have to fit into their post-graduate budgets.