Monday, 17 January 2011

7 Essential Student Loan Consolidation Rules and Regulations You Should Know About

When consolidating student loans, it's important to know what you're getting into first. As with any financial decision, you must do your homework before signing on the dotted line. Consolidating student loans is not a difficult process, but there are several rules and regulations in place that you must know before deciding to consolidate your student loans into one easy to manage loan. This is a list of some of the most important rules and regulations pertaining to student loan consolidation. Make sure you understand each of these rules before going through with the consolidation loan.

Student Loan Consolidation is Free

Obtaining a student loan consolidation loan is a free process, so never pay a fee for consolidating. If the lender is charging an upfront fee to consolidate your student loans, it's most likely a scam and you should take your business elsewhere. This scam is often referred to as an "advance fee loan scam", and it's relatively common in the student loan consolidation world.

You Cannot Consolidate While Still in School

You may consolidate your student loans only after your loans enter their grace period, which is six months after graduating or dropping out of school. You can also consolidate once repayment of the loans begin, although you should consider consolidating before that point. It may not be beneficial to everyone, but it's definitely worth taking a look at the numbers to see if it would save you money and make your loans easier to manage.

You Can Only Consolidate Student Loans in Your Name

This rule seems pretty obvious, but in some cases where the student is married or has their parents' name on any of the student loans, it may come into play. Students and parents may consolidate their student loans, but they cannot combine them into one consolidation loan - They must be separate. Same thing holds true for married students who both have student loan debt. As of 2006, married students cannot combine their student loan debt into one consolidation loan - They can, however, each have their own consolidation loan.

Student and Graduates May Consolidate With Any Lender

There are no restrictions that limit which lenders are eligible for consolidating student loans, so you may choose whatever lender you wish. This allows you to shop around for the lender with the best interest rates and incentives. Keep in mind that most lenders require you to have a minimum balance totaling $7,500 or sometimes higher.

Any Federal Student Loan is Eligible for Consolidation

Any type of federal student loan can be consolidated, including single student loans. That being said, you can only consolidate an existing consolidation loan one time, but not in every circumstance. In order to reconsolidate a consolidation loan, you must add a previously not included student loan to the consolidation. In this case, your interest rate would be reconfigured using a formula to weigh the old interest rate with new rate brought on by the student loan being added to the mix. Please note that a student loan consolidation loan uses a weighted average of all of the included student loans to determine the overall interest rate - Reconsolidating in future will not completely reset your interest rate.

Consolidation Loans Offer Longer Repayment Terms

Federal student loans feature standard 10-year repayment plans. When consolidating student loans, you can extend these terms to 12-30 years depending upon how much is owed. As with any loan, though, it's not recommended to extend the terms of the loan, because interest charges will be greater the longer the loan exists. It's recommended to pay off the loan as soon as possible. That being said, extending the consolidation loan repayment plan can help people to better afford the lower payments brought on by a longer repayment plan.

There's No Prepayment Penalties

You may pay off your student loan consolidation at anytime without any risk of prepayment penalties. I highly recommend paying off the consolidation loan as soon as possible to avoid some of the interest charges and to relieve yourself of the financial burden as quickly as possible. Just make sure that when making additional payments each month, you inform the lender that the additional amount should go towards the principle of the loan rather than future payments.

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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Know the Perils of Consolidating Your Student Loans

There's a lot of of college loans at hand for College Students who's searching student aid to go to a University. A common college loan consolidation procedure countless students take is through the U.S. Government Federal Loan Program. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form must be filled out before a Student can be considered for a particular government student loan. There are also four types of government loans namely, Graduate PLUS Loan, Parent PLUS Loan, Perkins Loan and the Stafford Loan. With innumerable websites and supposedly experts in the media, it is imperative that a Student obtain the most up-to-date student loans consolidation advice they can get.

Merging your loans can be critical for Students to get their financial situations under control. Student loan consolidation simply means the act of obtaining one loan to pay off all the others, thus creating one loan where a Student or the Parents may have had 2 or more loans to pay off. Government consolidation can make a borrower choose from the four repayment procedures like the extended payment plan. Merging your student loans generally results in a lower monthly payment with no penalties included for the early paying off of the loan.

Furthermore, in most cases, there is no credit check needed in consolidating your government student loan thus this may result in a lower interest rate. And also, if a government loan is consolidated its application process will be a lot simpler. Parents or Students with Private loans will want to weigh the pro's and con's of private consolidation before taking action.

Consolidating your loan may decrease your monthly payment and string out the repayment term longer. This helps many students get on their feet and obtain a good paying job so that repaying their student loan doesn't put them into financial hardship.

One needs to know the pitfalls associated with student loan consolidation before taking action. This plan of action is not a good choice for everyone. There are pitfalls to consolidation, many of which no one is willing to educate the Student about.

Some students consolidate their loans then do nothing to improve their financial status. Then when it comes time to repay, they are financially strapped due to having to repay their student loan.

Consolidating your government college aid during the six month grace period will result to the loss of the rest of the grace period. Furthermore, a consolidated loan means an extended payment plan which can cause a the total amount to be paid back to be raised as time goes by. As a matter of fact, the total amount paid back may reach thousands of dollars in cost. Thus, sometimes, consolidation may not be convenient and cost-effective.

Government student loans are truly a gift for students who are in need of financial aid. However, consolidating it may or may not have a positive effect on your long term financial situation. Thus, a wise Student will review all of his or her options before consolidating their aid packages and do diligent research to make sure student loan consolidation is right for their financial circumstance.

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