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Consolidate Student Loans

Everyone knows that a good education makes a big difference in the type of job and ultimately in the type of lifestyle that you can have.  Unfortunately, however, a good education does not come cheaply, and many students take out student loans to help cover the cost of their expenses.  Once school is out and the graduation parties are over, many of these students are at a loss on how to repay this money.  In some cases, choosing to consolidate student loans may be the best answer.

You should start by taking a look at some of the information you will need to know about student loan consolidation.  First, you will want to take a look at eligibility requirements.  It is pointless to apply to consolidate student loans if you are not eligible to do so.

To qualify to consolidate federal student loans you can no longer be enrolled in school (which is generally defined as being enrolled in school less than half time), you have to be in the “grace period” of the loan or actively repaying it, and meet the minimum loan requirement of the consolidation company, which typically is $10,000. 

These rules only apply to federal loans, however, which offer some advantages to private loans.  The interest on federal loans is tax deductible, the loan can sometimes be forgiven, and payments can be deferred if you go back to school.  Because of this, federal and private loans should not be consolidated together, as you would lose the benefits of the federal loan.

Approximately 50% of college graduates take out student loans, on average in the amount of $10,000.  This can end up being a sizeable amount of debt to need to repay, especially when you are fresh out of school and just starting on your career path.  Since rates on the loans are around 3-4% a lot of money can be saved when you consolidate student loans.  Like any debt, these loans can influence your credit and future purchasing abilities, so it is important to get the debt paid off as soon as you can.  Student loan debt that exceeds 8% of your income is seen negatively on your credit report, and can affect your chance of qualifying for future loan amounts, which might make it difficult to buy a house or get a car loan once you are out of school.

Often, online websites can be useful for loan information.  You can apply to consolidate student loans online, and get answers to any questions that you may have.  You can also look for lower interest rates and lenders that do not have application fees or credit checks.  Online calculators allow you to compare different repayment options and rates as well.  For instance, you may find that taking a loan with a higher monthly payment will have you paying off your loan sooner and for less money overall.  Or, in another instance, if you think you can pay a loan off early, finding a lender that does not have prepayment penalties may be better for you, even if they have a higher interest rate.

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