In order to avoid default or late payments on your student debt, you can always resort to student debt consolidation. By consolidating you'll reduce all your debt to a single loan with a unique monthly payment and you will save thousands of dollars on interests.
If you took out student loans for your college education as you needed them, you may have four to 10 separate loans that you pay on every month. Would it be in your best interest to consolidate them? The answer is yes. However, it is important that you do your homework first to find the best way to do it.
Student Debt and Credit Score
If you have several student loans, they can affect your credit rating. Each student loan will show up on your credit reports as separate loans for each lending period. If you want to buy a car or a home, it will definitely benefit you to consolidate these into one loan so all of the notes but one will be listed as paid.
Benefits of Consolidating
You should be able to get a lower interest rate when you obtain a student debt consolidation loan. Moreover, you will also be able to get a longer repayment program so you can reduce your monthly payments even more. The savings you will get by consolidating at lower interest rate can be significant over time. We are talking about thousands of dollars over the whole life of the loan.
Consolidating is Not Always Possible
Consolidation may not be an option for you. According to the Department of Education, if you have consolidated your student loans once, and the new loan is not is not at a fixed rate yet, you can refinance one more time. That will be the last time you can consolidate, unless you go back to college and rack up more student loans.
However, private student debt is always open to consolidation. Thus, when consolidating and given that federal loans usually carry lower interest rates, it is better if you leave them aside and you consolidate only high interest private debt. Unless of course, you are seeking to extend the repayment program rather than saving money by reducing or locking the interest rate you pay for your loans.
Consolidating is Not Always to Your Advantage
If you have just a few years left on your student loan, it may not be in your best interest to consolidate. You won't get much benefit from the lower interest rate, and you'll end up with a longer term of payment. It is better if you make some sacrifices and efforts in order to repay the loan and you save yourself the drawbacks that consolidating a loan in such situation.
Paying off your student loans as fast as possible is best. These notes don't go away quickly, thus the interest rate is important. And you need to remember that you can't file bankruptcy against a student loan, so repayment is your only option. If you find yourself in financial difficulties you can request forbearance or a waiver till you can recover. It is always better than missing payments or defaulting on the loan.
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