2 minute read

Student Loan Consolidation Services

How to find student loan consolidation services

For students out there with loans piling up, significant challenges exist. Especially for those students who have been through four years of college and perhaps graduate school, student loan amounts can creep toward the $100,000 mark. What are students to do when bills get high and they’re paying off loans from multiple lenders? Many choose to go with student loan consolidation services. Finding the best student loan consolidation service is not exactly easy, given that so many of these services tout what they have to offer. Getting on board with the top student loan consolidation services requires students to look at both federal and private options.

Using the provided federal loan consolidation programs
One option is to take what the government has to offer. Their student loan consolidation services are extensive, and they are helpful. Students can consolidate any federal loan type, including the following student loans that have become so popular:

  • Perkins loan
  • Subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loan
  • PLUS loan
  • HEAL loan

Students who have federal loans must use the federal consolidation services if they want to retain the government repayment options. This is important, because those who use the government consolidation option can extend their repayment term from ten years to thirty years. If you are struggling to keep up with payment amounts and you need some sort of payment relief, then the government options are your best bet. If you step outside the government options and use private student loan consolidation services to handle your federal loans, you will forfeit the right to preferential repayment options.

Assessing private student loan consolidation services
Many students have to take out private student loans to cover either tuition or the extra cost of attending a university. This is especially true for those who enter into professional school, since the costs tend to exceed what the government will offer. For those who are struggling to repay private loans from a host of different lenders, there are many different private consolidation services. The nice thing about going private is that you will have the chance to choose from a number of different competing offers.

Doing the research online is an important step, as it will allow you to compare a number of different services. You will want to find consolidators that allow for lower rates with a co-signer, especially if you have below average credit. Often times, these student loan consolidators will offer a significantly reduced overall interest rate if you are able to go in with a co-signer that has established a long line of quality financial decisions. It is also possible to acquire lower interest rates by taking an extended loan term, though this will increase the total amount to be repaid.

Consolidating your debts does offer some potential downside. You will have a single large credit account, which can be detrimental to your credit score if anything goes wrong with that account. Additionally, you open yourself up to large fees for late payments and missed payments, while also limiting your options for repayment. For most people the positives outweigh the negatives, but both sides of the coin must be considered.

Ultimately, finding student loan consolidation services requires students and former students to assess the specifics of their own situation prior to making any choices. Both public and private options exist, and certain students will need to lean on each of these. Consolidation can offer relief and it can save a great deal of money, as well, for those students who are smart enough to shop around for the best consolidation lender.

Additional topics

Financial Dictionary: Accounting, Business & International FinancePersonal Finance - Student Loans