Student Loan Consolidation – How does it Work?
Student loans are a great source of financial aid for students who need help paying for their education. Unfortunately, students often leave college with burdensome debt. In addition, they often have multiple loans from different lenders, meaning they are writing more than one loan repayment check each month. The solution to this problem is loan consolidation.

What is loan consolidation?
Loan consolidation means bundling all your student loans into a single loan with one lender and one repayment plan. You can think of loan consolidation as akin to refinancing a home mortgage. When you consolidate your student loans, the balances of your existing student loans are paid off, with the total balance rolling over into one consolidated loan. The end result is that you have only one student loan to pay on.

Both students and their parents can consolidate loans.

Should I consolidate my loans?
Loan consolidation offers many benefits:

-Locks in a fixed, usually lower, interest rate for the term of your loan, potentially saving you thousands of dollars (depending on the interest rates of your original loans)
-Lowers your monthly payment
-Combines your student loan payments into one monthly bill

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In addition, consolidated loans have flexible repayment options and no fees, charges, or prepayment penalties. There are also no credit checks or co-signers required.

You should consider consolidating your loans if the consolidation loan would have a lower interest rate than your current loans, particularly if you are having trouble making you monthly payments. However, if you are close to paying off your existing loans, consolidation may not be worth it.

How will the interest rate for the consolidated loan be?
The interest rate for your consolidated loan is calculated by averaging the interest rate of all the loans being consolidated and then rounding up to the next one-eighth of one percent. The maximum interest rate is 8.25 percent.

To figure your interest rate, visit loanconsolidation.ed.gov for an online calculator that will do the math for you.

By Haadi