Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Consolidate Student Loans - Those Loan Bills Are Piling Up- Don't Tear Your Hair Out Yet

Most college graduates entering the workforce today have a new bills coming in in the form of student loan payments. These student loans may have been deferred or interest-only up to now - but NOW they are coming due - Yikes!

With too many loans from too many different lenders, each with different rules and interest rates, it can be very confusing. And the interest on the loans is usually growing before the graduate is really aware how huge the student loan debt is growing. It may be time to get advice about how to consolidate student loans.

It’s never too soon to manage your finances, and the next step in organizing student loan debt is to consider a student loan consolidation.

While companies may advertise a easy way to consolidate student loans, until your new lender buys the debt all payments are still due.

There are a few things to know about before making a decision about how to consolidate student loans.

Knowing the competitive rates and likely lenders as well as the difference between federal and private loan programs is key.

It is smart to brush up on the regulations for the debt servicing for student loan consolidation. Some companies have made a specialty out of finding the companies who will perform student loan consolidations. Of course, it may also be possible that your own bank can consolidate student loans.

When you consolidate student loan debt your debt term usually lengthens but the manageability of the debt improves.

The most efficient way to consolidate student loans is to review the entire set of options available to you and check the regulations for each type. Deferments and grace periods, forbearances and program limitations will play a part in your decision to consolidate.

The steps leading to consolidate student loans may not be simple but when complete it can transform a cluster of loans with different rules and payment options into one simple payment.

So to consolidate student loans is not only good debt management, but a way to make life easier as well.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Questions To Ask Before You Consolidate Your Student Loans

Federal student loan consolidation is a free federal program that allows anyone with outstanding federal student loan debt to combine their loans, extend their repayment term, and lock in their interest rate. The terms and conditions on all federal student loan consolidations are set by the U.S. Department of Education, meaning that all federal student loan consolidations are, at least initially, created equal. There are no prepayment penalties or fees, and every lender has to offer the same federal forbearance and deferment options and the same initial consolidated interest rate. This rate is based on a weighted average of the interest rates of all the outstanding student loans rounded to the nearest 1/8th percent.

So, if every lender is offering the same federal terms and conditions, and every consolidated loan will have the same initial rate, what’s the difference between consolidation lenders? The difference between lenders is in the borrower benefits that are offered. These differences can be pretty substantial, and by asking the right questions, smart borrowers can get the best deal on their federal student consolidation loan.

Interest Rate Reductions

The most common benefit offered on a federal student loan consolidation is an interest rate reduction. This benefit is usually offered in two parts: a .25% reduction for auto debit and a 1% interest rate reduction after 36 months of on-time payments. This is a great benefit that can greatly reduce the total amount of interest paid on the consolidated loan. On a $30,000 loan, this benefit alone can save a borrower over $6,500 in interest! Although this is an attractive benefit, there are a couple things to ask your consolidation lender before proceeding with the loan:

1. Ask the lender if the benefit will lock in after you’ve made 36 months of on-time payments. This means that, after the 1% interest rate reduction is awarded, the benefit can never be taken away, even if payments are made late in the future. Most consolidation companies will add the 1% back in if any payment is late after the benefit has already been awarded. Many people don’t worry about this, assuming that they will always make their payment on time. However, most consolidation loans will take over 10 years to pay back and the odds are a payment will be late eventually. Clarify with the lender when a payment is considered late. Any reputable company should provide at least a 10-day grace period before a payment is considered late. Remember, just because you have your payments set up to be auto-debited from a bank account doesn’t mean they will always be on time. If there are insufficient funds in the bank account, the payment can be rejected and considered late.

2. Ask the lender if the on-time payments have to be consecutive to receive the interest rate reduction. Many companies will take away the benefit if you put the loan into a forbearance or deferment. This can even include a deferment on payments if you decide to go back to school. Reputable lenders will not take away your benefit for exercising your federal right to put your consolidation loan into a deferment or forbearance.

3. Ask the lender what will happen to the benefit if the loan is sold. Regardless of what a lender tells you, many consolidation loans are sold. Make sure that if your loan is sold, you will not lose your rate reductions. There are horror stories of borrowers making 30 on-time payments to find out that their consolidated loan had been sold to a new lender who will not honor the 1% rate reduction they were initially promised.

Cash Back Rebate

A relatively new benefit being touted by consolidation companies is the cash back rebate. This is usually a percentage of the principal loan balance that is either applied to the outstanding loan or sent to the borrower as a cash payment. This can be a very attractive offer, especially when in the form of a cash payment to the borrower.

It’s hard to resist a check for thousands of dollars, but when compared to the savings from the interest rate reductions, the cash back rebate is usually not the best financial discount.

For example:

One lender is offering a 1.25% rate reduction for on-time payments, and the other lender is offering a 3% cash back rebate on a $60,000 consolidated loan. The lender offering the cash back rebate will mail the borrower a check for $1,800 after they make 10 payments on time. The other lender will give the 1% rate reduction after 3 years of on-time payments. The cash rebate sounds tempting, but when you realize that the 1.25% rate reduction could save over $32,000, it is clear the interest rate reduction is the superior benefit.

1. If you decide to go with a company offering the cash rebate option, make sure to read the fine print. Many companies require that a rebate form be submitted by a certain deadline to process the cash back benefit. If the cash back rebate form is not received, they will disqualify the borrower from the rebate.

2. Ask the lender what exactly is required to receive the cash back rebate before submitting a signed consolidation loan application. Many companies combine the cash back rebate with other borrower obligations. One company requires that a borrower enroll in their electronic newsletter with a valid email address before the rebate is awarded.

The federal student loan consolidation program is an excellent way to manage student loan debt as well as save thousands of dollars in interest payments. By asking the right questions and knowing what to look for, you can maximize your savings and make sure that you get the best deal possible on your consolidation loan.

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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

How To Get A School Loan Even If You Have Bad Credit

Bad Credit Student Loan

If you are concerned that bad credit will prevent you from going to college you have to know that unfortunately it is true that finding student loans with excellent interest rates is easier if you have a sterling credit rating, bad credit student loan aid is possible. Bad credit student loans are also possible if your parents have better credit than you do.

Keep in mind that federal funding is a good choice for a bad credit student loan because they are specifically designed to help make college more accessible; therefore, their requirements are much looser than those of most banks and other lending companies. However, if you are unable to secure a US Department of Education student loan, you may need to turn to private loans.

If you are planning to graduate in a field with high earnings potential, like law or medicine, you might have a better chance of receiving a bad credit student loan from private lenders. You have to realize that none of these choices are either/or possibilities. You may be able to put together enough money to finance college through a combination of any or all of the above types of loans. Also, even if your bad credit student loan is at a very high interest rate, all is not lost. You have to realize that many student loans defer payment until you have finished college that gives you time to improve your credit rating. Also, you should look into ways to consolidate your student loan at a better rate, lowering your payments to a more affordable level. is your source for credit. You can obtain loans, mortgages, credit cards, cash advances, even if you have a poor credit score. is also perfect for you if have a good credit score.

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Student Loans - Finding a Student Loan

It is not all that difficult to find a student loan. However, if you are just beginning in your college career, it could be a stressful task. In order to get through the chore of finding a student loan that best fits your financial and educational situation, you will want to follow these few basic tips.

When it comes to student loans, there are two basic types, private and federal. Private loans are given to students, but are generally based upon your credit report and credit score. These types of student loans, are not regulated or issued by the government, therefore, they tend to carry higher rates of interest. The government issues federal student loans. A lender will lend you the money, with the promise from the federal government that it will be paid back. These types of student loans typically carry much lower rates of interest, when compared to private loans.

When it comes to interest rates, there are two basic types unsubsidized and subsidized. With a subsidized student loan, the loan will not be charged any type of interest. If the loan is charged interest, it is paid by another party. This continues to be the case, while the student is currently attending school.

With an unsubsidized loan, the loan will be charged interest during the entire course of your school career. If the interest is left unpaid, it is then added to the principle amount of the loan. This tends to increase the amount you need to pay, as well as the time it will take you to pay off the loan.

When it comes to a federal loan, the student is require to fill out a form called FAFSA. This is important and must be done right away. Most schools offer a financial aid office and they will carry these forms. There are other types of loans that include college loan solutions, ACT education loans, study abroad loans, international student loans, Stafford loans, or PLUS loans.

Ken Charnley is a personal finance publisher whos website is dedicated to quality information on online loans. For all your online loan needs visit and Apply for Student Loans Online

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Saturday, 20 December 2008

Student Loans And The Price Of An Education

The average student entering higher education will now leave university with debts of around £10,000. This is made up from a combination of student loans, credit cards and overdrafts. This figure however is set to sky rocket as Barclays predicts students graduating in 2010 will be facing £30,000 of debt.

Although some figures show that graduates can expect higher than average earnings, students may not actually be in well-paid jobs for a number of years after graduating leaving. Unfortunately for some, this premium in earnings may never even be enough to clear their accumulated personal debt.

The best way to avoid the struggle is to learn about and prepare yourself for each cost involved over the period of our course including the time it may take you to find a job afterwards.

Firstly, tuition fees - these pay for the actual course you want to take. Before 1999 the Government covered the entire cost. However now, a growing appetite for higher education forced the Government to change the system. This was also justified by claims that during the course of their working lives, a graduate could earn £400,000 more than a non-graduate.

However, not everyone has to pay tuition fees. If your parents' combined earnings are under a certain threshold they will not have to pay. From the threshold upward, the contributions operate on a sliding scale.

Although, regardless of their earnings, the maximum any family has to pay amounts to around a quarter of the entire cost of the course each year. This is estimated to be around £4,000 and the Government will still pick up the bill for the remaining amount.

As soon as you are accepted into a course you should apply to your Local Education Authority (LEA) to find out what sort of financial help you can obtain.

Thinking of taking out a loan to fund your course? Most students will need to take out one or more student loans to cover their day-to-day living. These are unsecured loans with an especially low interest rate that reflects the rate of inflation meaning you only pay back the exact amount you borrowed.

If you are going to take out a loan you should contact your LEA at the same time you apply for support towards tuition fees. Your LEA will assess the amount of loan you are entitled to and invite you to request how much you want to apply for. You must then tell the Student Loans Company (SLC) of the amount agreed and it will pay the money into your account on the first day of term. Note also that you are eligible for more funds if you are studying in London.

You can apply for one loan for each year of your course and you do not have to start making repayments until the April (end of tax year) after you graduate. From then on, you will only start paying back the loan if you are earning above a certain threshold.

Then the amount you pay back each month will depend on how much you are earning. In the unlikely event that you never earn over the threshold, the loan will be cleared when you turn 65.

Alternatively, most of the big banks will offer an interest-free overdraft facility on their student accounts in the hope that you will stay loyal to them when you start earning in the future.

The amount you get on an overdraft will depend on the bank and will apply to all its student applicants but the usual amount is around £2,000 and it is interest-free.

Although the overdraft will not cost you anything if you stay within your limit, if you should go beyond it, you’ll be charged a hefty interest rate on the difference. You may also be hit with a one-off unauthorised overdraft fee as well.

There is no specific time limit for repaying the overdraft. But after leaving university, the interest-free perk will no longer be available and you will be charged at the same high rates that apply to overdrafts on standard current accounts. It is worth noting that some banks provide a grace period after graduation before the higher rate will kick in.

Another option is of course the old fashioned credit card. However, these rarely carry privileged terms for students. If you take a credit card from a bank you will have to pay exactly the same high interest rates as everyone else. The only difference will be as a student, your credit limit will be lower. Most will find, with credit cards, they will sit on their maxed out balance and pay interest for three years forgetting what the spent the money on in the first place.

Although there are many money lending options for student, seventy per cent of university students’ still finds money a problem and half will have part-time jobs as well as loans. Most students admit they are worried about debt but believe it is unavoidable. Know and research your options carefully and avoid getting into any unnecessary debt, such as credit cards until you have some sort of income.

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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Where To Find Student Loans For College

A college education may seem trivial to some but to not to most people who want to achieve a better status in life economically and socially. Globalization has made education very important because of the increasing competitiveness among young professionals worldwide.

A college degree has become a prerequisite in getting better work opportunities in any field of discipline. The lack of a college degree can thus put a person at a disadvantage especially when he is applying for a job and his competitors are all college graduates.

It is common knowledge that the income of people is directly proportional to the degrees they have achieved. Thus, a college graduate has better chances of getting a high paying job than a high school graduate. On the other hand, those who have masters' degrees will definitely have higher incomes than those armed with college degrees.

However, getting a college education is so expensive nowadays that only a few can afford to get one. Most families who belong to the low income group could not even send their children to college even if they want to do so. But there are solutions to those who are bent on getting a college education but who do not have the financial capacity.

Students who are eyeing a college education should already start preparing by narrowing the choice of colleges they want to attend as well as the possible expenses that would be incurred in getting that college education.

The family can start and working extra hard so they can contribute to the educational fund of their children or sibling. Planning ahead may also entail postponing or abandoning the family’s vacation plans. The aspiring college student can also take on part time work to build his college education fund.

Qualified families can also avail of student loans offered by the government or by private financial institutions. It is also best to consider the type of student loan one would be getting because there are institutions offering student loans with exorbitant interest rates.

The United States government has acknowledged the importance of getting more Americans to college so it has prepared federal grant options for incoming college students. Federal grants are usually based on the financial requirement of the student and there is no need to maintain a certain grade while in college.

To qualify for the grant, a student must be a first time college student meaning this is your first college course or degree and possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent. Citizenship is not an issue because both American citizens and non citizens who are qualified can avail of the grant.

However, a student must be able to plan on repaying his student loan to avoid being stuck on a long repayment scheme. Most college students who have not planned ahead are still paying for their loans several years after getting their college degrees.

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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Direct Federal Loan - Student Consolidation

Rising student education fees force most students to take student loans in order to pay for their educational costs (tuition fees, accommodation costs and other miscellaneous expenses). The danger of defaulting on loan payment is best addressed by a student when s/he decides on the consolidation of his/her loans.

This enables the student to manage his/her already meager funds more efficiently along with relieving him/her of the stress s/he has to undergo when s/he faces the prospect of the monthly loan repayment obligations. Students usually take loans from different companies at different points of time, for varying durations and at different rates of interest. Student loan consolidation enables the student to tie up the different loans s/he has taken into one bunch, making it easier to handle them.

A federal direct loan is one in which an individual takes a loan not from any commercial lending institution but directly from the Federal Government, while federal loan consolidation is the act of consolidating outstanding loans.

The way a federal loan consolidation works is simple. The student is issued a new loan equal to his total loan amount after the government pays off all his outstanding loans. The new loan issued gives the student the benefit of enjoying a lower monthly payment by extending the student’s repayment term (which can stretch up to 30 years). The credit rating of the student also improves since his outstanding loans are effectively cleared when the old loans are repaid.

It also helps in freezing the interest rates at the current rates in case the rates increase in the future. The federal government, through the Federal Direct Student Loan (FDSL) program, provides direct loan consolidation straightaway. Things to be kept in mind by students while going in for consolidation are the interest rates, duration, and the incentives.

Mary Foster is a Financial Adviser with 10 years as an Accountant and Student Loan Consolidator. She is the author of Consolidation Direct Federal Loan Student Weblog. Read her latest articles and recommendations to help find a debt free plan that works.

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Thursday, 11 December 2008

Student Loans - What Your Daddy Should Have Told You

Student loans are provided to students to help them in paying tuition fees. Interest rates are significantly lower for student's loans than other loans, and often issued by the government. In some cases, a student loan is the single means by which a person will be able to pay for college education.

Therefore, it's easy to realize the importance of getting a decent & competative student loan.

If you are planning for advanced studies or to go to college, and want to apply for a student loan, you must do a bit of research work. There are some guidelines and pointers you should always keep in mind. Some points are discussed here.

With these points in your mind you can choose a better loan and assure your application for approval.

1. When you are going to apply for a loan you should bring all the necessary documents with you, containing information about your financial status. In some cases financial status of your parents and income proof can play an important role in decisions regarding your student loan. Lenders will surely ask for these documents if you are still living with your parent.

2. For better loan options you can even contact your high school's financial aid office. The staff of the financial aid office are specially trained to help you in deciding on the best loan options. Collect information from there and then decide which will best suit you.

3. Before applying for a loan you must know your tuition fee per semester or per year, expenditure on books and other expenses. Establish a budget for yourself. Do not underestimate this, it's crucial to having an enjoyable experience. Being "broke" all the time makes for a long year!.

4. If you are planning to live in a campus provided by the institution, you must know about the dorm fees and charges for each semester. In most of cases you can even add campus living charges in your request for your loan. Many students use student loans to pay their off campus expenses as well. While funding your other expenses you should keep in mind the rules and regulations of student loans.

5. If you are an honors scholar you should apply for a scholarship program before applying for a student loan. It will make your student life easy.

6. While looking for a student loan you should honestly assess your income sources during your school life and after school. Many students end up their school life buried in debts provided by loan programs. Hence, be sure that what will you actually need in student loan financing, by doing so you will be in a fine position in coming life.

While calculating your available funds, do not forget to consider any financial contribution from your parents for your education. If you are qualified for any educational grant or scholarship program, it will be a plus for you. In this case you should reduce your request for student loan to keep your financial position sound in student life and after that.

By following these guidelines, it will be easy for you to choose a better student loan and be in a position to refund the loan after your education.

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Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Student Loan Refinance

There are basically two types of Student Loans: Federal Student Loans and private loans. Federal loans are based on the financial need of the applicant [student] and are backed by the US government. They can be refinanced at far lower interest rates than private loans. Private loans are personal consumer loans.

Just as in other refinances, the main aim of Student Loan Refinancing is to reduce monthly payments to the lender. If the student has borrowed more than one loan, as in other types of refinance, the easiest way to accomplish this is to consolidate the loans [known as `debt consolidation’]. But before debt consolidation, the student has to see that federal and private loans are not combined. If they are combined, the interest on the combined principal may turn out to be more than the total interest of the accrued loans considered separately. Consolidating federal loans and private loans separately is most economical. Student Loan consolidators can be consulted to work on this important aspect.

Private loans are based on the credit history of the student or the student’s parents or guardians. Parents or guardians are the co-signers [also known as `co-endorsers’] in the Refinance agreement and assume equal responsibility for repayment of the loan, though they are not the beneficiaries.

Students with good credit histories stand a better chance than others. Here too, the students and the co-signers should see that their credit histories are in good shape. It is best to review their credit reports, and fix any problems. They should also compare interest rates from different lenders, so that they get the best deal.

Most Student Loans allow monthly repayments that stretch over 12-30 years, usually, and come due after the student graduates from the program or the course for which the loan was sought. The longer the period of repayment, more expensive it turns out to be. Hence, it is very important to speed the loan repayment as much as possible. There are numerous instances where students have saved thousands of dollars in interest.

Refinance provides detailed information about refinance, bad credit refinance, car refinance, loan refinance and more. Refinance is the sister site of Fixed Rate Home Equity Loans.

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Tuesday, 2 December 2008

4 Steps To Make The Most Of Your Student Loans

For the 66% of students with educational debt, doing homework leads to smart financing--

Now that most of this year’s pomp and circumstance, cap-tossing, and graduation parties are in the memory banks, the reality of paying for college or graduate school is setting in. According to FinAid, two-thirds of college students borrow to pay for school – with an average loan debt of nearly $20,000. Ten percent of parents borrow for their students’ education, borrowing an average of $16,218. And those figures account only for undergraduate education. Graduate degrees can pack on an additional $27,000 to $114,000 in student debt.

Most Americans with student loan debt doubtless saw the flood of news articles over the past few weeks encouraging borrowers to consolidate their loans by the cutoff date – June 30 – before the annual interest-rate increase on July 1. On that date, because of the rising interest rate environment in the United States, rates on federal student loan debt increased by a substantial 1.84 percent. Now that student loan rates are no longer at the 3 percent interest rates they hit during the economy’s slowest days, it pays even more to be savvy about borrowing for school or returning to school.

And this year, borrowers also could be affected by two new rules that took effect July 1, making it all the more important to pay attention to smart financing options for student loans.

Interest rates on new Stafford Loans will not be variable, but will be locked at 6.8 percent.

Previously, if borrowers had multiple loans with one lender, they could only consolidate with the same lender, but as of mid-June, they can consolidate with any one lender.

If you missed the June 30 consolidation deadline, it’s too late for this year. But for those who did – or who are looking at borrowing for college or graduate school via new student loans starting this year or later – these four steps will help make sure you find your best financing mechanism for student loans.

Try again next year. If you have older student loans that you have not consolidated, make a note on your calendar to check rates prior to next year’s June 30 consolidation deadline. The maximum rate allowed for federal Stafford loans is 8.25 percent. For 2006-2007, the rate will be 7.14 percent for those in repayment, or 6.84 percent for those with in-school deferment. It is possible that rates still will not have hit the maximum by next June 30, and you then might be able to lock in lower rates.

Compare rates. Whether you’re looking at new loans or old ones, check to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Check your options. A few career fields – like teaching and emergency services in high-need areas – are eligible for loan forgiveness or debt reduction of student loans obtained to enter that field. Check with your school, professional organization or lender to determine if you are eligible for any of these programs.

Get help if you cannot pay. If you’re unable to make payments on your loans, contact a debt resolution professional or get other reputable assistance. Student loan debt typically is not eliminated by declaring bankruptcy, but you may be able to work out a payment plan with your lender if you do not have the income to pay the debt according to the original schedule. Student loans represent a serious financial commitment, and avoiding repayment has major repercussions.

Student loan debt is one of the few “healthy” types of debt, as it helps individuals better themselves, further their careers and society, and generate greater long-term earnings. With a bit of research, you can make the most of your student loans and your education – and even increase your financial know-how along the way. And in borrowing, as in education, there’s always next year to improve your situation.

Check out some of the easy-to-use Web site calculators, such as the one in the Savings Center.

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