Posts Tagged ‘student’

What you Need to Know about Consolidating Student Loans

Chances are if you’ve taken out student loans in order to finance your education you have been, or at least will be, receiving calls and offers in the mail to consolidate your student loans. There are actually numerous advantages to consolidating your student loans. In addition to gaining a fixed interest rate you can also potentially lower your monthly payments. In the event that you begin to experience financial difficulties, you may also be able to take advantage of flexible payment options with a consolidated student loan.

Unlike other types of debt consolidation programs a student loan consolidation gives you the opportunity to combine your loans into one package with more attractive terms. You also don’t have to worry about being turned down because of a bad credit score and the interest on the loan may be tax deductible. In addition, in the event of your death your survivors won’t have to worry about paying it back because the debt will be discharged.

If you have a variable interest rate student loan, consolidating the loan can also help you to lock in a lower rate before the rates increase the next year. Over the length of the loan, this one step can actually help to save you a tremendous amount of money.

Of course, in addition to the advantages there are also some disadvantages of which you should be aware. One of the most important is that if you end up lowering your monthly payment you are actually extending the length of the loan and that means you’ll pay more over the life of the loan due to increased interest. You can still take advantage of the other benefits of a student loan consolidation without this disadvantage; however. Just don’t lower your payments unless it is really necessary.

When considering lenders for a student loan consolidation it is important that you always compare the terms of each offer made to you. Consider the interest rate and length of the repayment terms to be sure you are getting the best deal possible.

If you have a mix of both federal and private student loans, you should also be aware that while both types of loans are available to be consolidated it may not be a good idea to consolidate your federal loans and private loans together in the same package. There are stipulations on private loans that are not required on federal student loans, such as no deferments, no tax deductions on the interest, no forgiveness of the debt in the event of death and no forgiveness of the loan for working in certain fields. In the event of a mix of private and federal, it’s usually best to go ahead and consolidate the private loans separately from the federal loans so that you can retain those advantages for the federal loans.

By understanding all of the factors related to student loan consolidation you will be in a better position to make a more informed decision regarding your finances.

Student Loan Consolidation Rates Has Increased on July 1, 2005

Congress voted on and passed Feb. 1 the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 that included massive cuts to federal student loan programs. The $11.9 billion in student loan cuts, including changes in laws regarding student loan consolidation, will negatively impact those students seeking a college education and others seeking to consolidate their higher interest loans. The industry expects a rush of students seeking to consolidate at the current low rates that are set to increase on July 1.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, S. 1932, was narrowly approved Feb. 1 by the House of Representatives. Passing by a two-vote margin of 216-214, S. 1932 was signed into public law Feb. 8 by President Bush, thereby approving the $11.9 billion in student loan cuts over the next five years.

Students and graduates now are in jeopardy. With college costs increasing every year and the forthcoming higher interest rates on student loan consolidation, college students are rushing to consolidate before the July 1 rate increase.

Student Loans Take the Hardest Hit

The cuts to federal student loans are the worst among cuts to other federal programs including Medicaid, Medicare and food stamps.

A majority of the legislation’s provisions to student loans will take effect on July 1 and others will be implemented over time. Some provisions include an increase to 6.8 percent for federal Stafford Loans, from rates as low as 4.7 percent. PLUS fixed interest rates will jump to 8.5 percent, from 7.9 percent. The legislation leaves consolidation loans current fixed rate in place.

Consolidate Student Loans Before July 1 Rate Increase

With student loan consolidation rates set to skyrocket on July 1, now is the time for students and graduates to consolidate, according to NextStudent, the Phoenix-based education funding company. Students and graduates now are urged to consolidate as current consolidation rates can be as low as 2.75 percent with benefits applied. Other incentives to consolidate include a longer payment term, one monthly payment and no prepayment penalties.

The following are other provisions affecting student loan consolidation that take effect July 1, 2006. Students and graduates should be aware of the new regulations so that they now can take action:

Consolidation Loan Changes
–    Single holder rule is not changed
–    Eliminates in-school and spousal consolidation options.  
–    A subsequent consolidation loan may be made in the DL Program only if the FFELP borrower wishes to obtain an income contingent repayment plan and, the borrower is trying to avoid default, but that is conditioned by the requirement that such a loan has been submitted to a guaranty agency for what used to be called “preclaims assistance” but is now labeled as “default aversion.”  
–    Also, in the Conf. Rpt. is a provision providing that only if a FFELP borrower has an application for a consolidation loan rejected by a lender or the application is rejected because the borrower wanted income-sensitive repayment terms, then the borrower can receive a direct consolidation loan.
–    A borrower with a defaulted loan can receive a DL consolidation loan to resolve the default.  
–    Unless otherwise specified the terms of DL consolidation loans are the same as FFELP consolidation loans.

Approval of the Deficit Reduction Act brings major cuts to student loans and a change in regulations regarding student loan consolidation. Although the legislation has changed to the detriment of those seeking a higher education, students and graduates still have the option to consolidate before the interest rate is set to increase on July 1.

Finding The Best Student Loan Consolidation

Student loan consolidation has many clear benefits, but before you obligate yourself by signing your name on the dotted line, you should do your research and obtain all the information you can find about the subject. In doing so, you will enable yourself to find the best student loan consolidation available. The following paragraphs will provide some advice and tips to help you find the best solution available for you.

Know Your Credit Score

If your credit score is good, you should not have any problems getting a great loan rate. If your credit rating is over 660, you will automatically qualify for the best student loan consolidation rates, and you do not have to research any more. But if your credit rating is under 600, you may want to evaluate ways to raise it before seeking loan consolidation. Your credit score is a main factor in determining the type of interest rate you may receive from the lender. If you have good credit, they can believe you will pay back the loan without default. Thus, they will often offer you a lower interest rate. But if your credit is not good, they will give you a higher interest rate to help insure they will receive repayment. If your credit is very poor, you may not even qualify for student loan consolidation.

There are several ways to obtain a copy of your credit report including:

· online requests
· written requests
· by requesting in person

Knowing your credit score is the first step in gaining student loan consolidation information. Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have on the subject, the better chance you will have at obtaining the best rates from lenders. Knowing your credit score can also help you to rid your credit report of reports that should not be there, as well as aid in the prevention of identity theft.

Obtaining Information From the Internet

With the world wide web gaining in popularity and growing, it is a wonderful tool in helping obtain the best loan interest rates. Educating yourself on the subject has never been easier. By utilizing any search engine, you can generate vast amounts of information with just a few clicks of the mouse. There are many tools available online, to assist you in finding the best interest rates available. These tools include:

· free credit check links
· student loan consolidation calculators
· interest rate estimators

Knowledge is the key in finding the best student loan consolidation rates available. The more knowledge you have on the subject, as well as knowing your credit scores, the better your chances of getting a good interest rate when consolidating your loan.

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