Student consolidation loans are meant to reduce the number of monthly payments, to cut the amount of interests paid for finance and to reduce the amount of money destined to pay off student debt so you can use the surplus for other purposes.
Though these loans are great for getting hold of the benefits portrayed above, there are many things that must be taken into account when undertaking student debt consolidation that may reduce or boost these benefits. Since knowledge does not take up space, read on and make sure to remember these tips and tricks so you can make the most out of your debt consolidation loan:
Keep your Government Loans and your Private Loans Apart
Federal student loans usually come with many benefits you surely want to keep. This includes a significantly lower interest rate that you will not be able to beat with any private consolidation loan. So if you need to consolidate your federal student loans, you will need to resort to government consolidation programs. Use private consolidation loans only with private student loans.
Focus on getting rid of variable rate loans
Though sometimes lower, variable rates tend to be a problem since you cannot predict market variations and thus your budgeting may be useless. If possible, consolidate all your variable rate loans into a single fixed interest student consolidation loan and leave fixed interest rate loans aside unless you can get a significantly lower interest rate with the consolidation loan.
Watch for prepaying penalties
Some lenders penalize those who pay off their debt sooner by adding extraordinary fees to the overall debt claiming additional administrative costs. If this is the case, you should leave low balance loans aside. If the fees are not covered by the amount of money you will be saving by consolidating the loan you will want to continue paying the loan on its original terms.
Keep your credit report clean
Try not to incur in delinquencies as this will be recorded into your credit history and prevent you from getting a good interest rate when applying for a consolidation loan. Before applying, always request your credit report and make sure everything is in order. If you happen to find any inconsistencies, contact the credit agency immediately and demand that they correct the inaccuracies. Many have been denied loans just because a credit agency employee had made a mistake.
Avoid Trading Loan Length in exchange of Lower monthly payments
Unless you really cannot afford the loan installments, refrain from extending the length of the loan. It is best to get lower monthly payments by agreeing to a lower interest rate than to get them by adding to the number of outstanding monthly payments.
Extending the loan length may solve your current cash flow problems by reducing your installments, but will increase the overall cost of the student consolidation loan turning it into a bad deal.
It is best to cut on your expenses for a little while till your income increases than to consent on many years more of annoying debt.