Best advice consolidating student loans

I contacted student loan guru Mark Kantrowitz at Fin Aid.org, who says just three lenders still offer consolidation: Chase, Student Loan Network, and Wells Fargo. You should also know that there are no fixed rates on consolidated private loans; your interest rate will probably be tied to a benchmark like the prime rate, so when that rises, so will the rate on your loan.

Finally, if you have a solid job and a solid credit score, think about looking into a personal loan at a bank or credit union.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your student loans, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone: Over 44 million Americans have student loan debt today.

You might have a mix of both federal and private loans and have several different loan servicers.

You might not be able to score a deal for the entire amount, but if you can get a fixed-rate personal loan to pay off some of the variable-rate student loan debt, that will offer you more stability.

Ask Suze a question or get another answer Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice.

Federal student loan consolidation basics How to consolidate federal student loans Benefits of federal consolidation Drawbacks of federal consolidation Private student loan consolidation (student loan refinancing) When you consolidate federal loans, the government pays them off and replaces them with a direct consolidation loan.

You’re generally eligible once you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.

It will have a fixed interest rate based on a weighted average of the loans you consolidate.

Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.

When you consolidate federal loans, your new fixed interest rate will be the weighted average of your previous rates, rounded up to the next ⅛ of 1%.

Your repayment term will generally start within 60 days of when your consolidation loan is first disbursed and will be based on your total federal student loan balance, among other factors; click on the link below for more details.

[Back to top] Applying for consolidation takes most borrowers less than 30 minutes, according to the Federal Student Aid website.

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