How to deal with education loans after school
Managing and repaying your student loan debt after school is a headache, to say the least. Not only are you juggling the demands of daily life and trying to pay for all associated costs of living, but you have a sizeable amount of debt breathing down your neck. Consolidating your student loans under one loan may be a step in the right direction toward simplifying your life.
Often the sum total of a student's debt is divided between more than one student loan. Simply put, student loan consolidation is the process of combining two or more student loans into one loan. Consolidated loans usually have lower monthly payments and interest rates, and longer loan terms.
The government has special services and processes for combining government-issued student loans. As a result, it's much easier to consolidate federal student loans. Private student loans cannot be consolidated with federal student loans, as the benefits designed for federal loan consolidation are meant specifically for federal loans. To consolidate private loans, students must consult with private borrowers to negotiate their loan consolidation.
Student loan consolidation is a good idea for the following reasons:
- Easier to manage. You only have to make payments on one loan. This eliminates the hassle of having to manage different payment amounts and loans.
- Fixed interest rates. Many loans have variable, or floating, interest rates. Variable interest rates can be beneficial when rates go down, but equally detrimental when they go up. It's best not to gamble on interest rates, especially since increasing interest rates may result in a significant increase in the amount you have to pay, especially if your loan is large or you are repaying over a long period. When negotiating your loan consolidation, you often have the option of securing a fixed interest rate, which will bring a degree of certainty to your repayment planning.
- Flexible monthly payments. When you consolidate your loans, you can renegotiate your repayment terms to more accurately reflect your repayment capability.
Keep In Mind…
When consolidating your student loans, it's important to remember to manage your loan smartly. Like any loan, a longer repayment term increases the total amount you have to repay. Consolidated loans may allow lower monthly payments over a longer period, as well as lower interest rates, but you will end up paying more in the long run if you maintain low monthly payments. Pay off your loan as quickly as possible to avoid paying unnecessary interest.