While student loans may be considered good debt, meaning that it can be viewed as an investment rather than a debt, they still provide quite a large monthly payment(s) each month. For many students and/or grads, the student loan debt may turn out to be very hard to manage; that's a situation where consolidating may benefit.
Consolidating all of your student loan debt
college debt into one loan has its good points and bad points. The benefits include smaller monthly payments and that it's much simpler to manage one loan than several. On the other hand, there are a number of potential negative aspects involved if you should decide to consolidate, including longer repayment terms and usually higher interest rates. It's vitally important to weigh the good points and bad points in each case in order to determine whether or not consolidation is a good option for you.
Once you do your homework and finally decide on consolidation as the answer, how do you go about obtaining the best student loan consolidation? First off, you can opt to consolidate with any bank who offers consolidation loans. This is a big plus because it enables you the ability to research any lender for the best interest rates. It's a good idea to begin your search by browsing the Internet for advice from other former college students who have recently consolidated. See which financial institutions they used and whether they're impressed with that particular lenders service and loan terms.
There are a lot of online consolidation lenders to choose from, so beginning your search for one can get a bit overwhelming. Concentrate your time and effort on reputable financial institutions, such as government lending programs (Direct Consolidation Loans) or nonprofit organizations that offer lending. Compare the interest rates amongst the various financial institutions to find the lowest possible interest rate. Additionally, be on the lookout for incentives and interest rate reductions and be sure to take those into consideration when choosing a lending institution. Don't make the mistake of looking solely at the amount of the monthly payment; look at interest rates, bonuses/incentives, monthly payment amount, and the number of years for repayment. Search for a consolidation loan which has the shortest number of months for repayment possible which you can afford. For instance, if you can afford a 20 year loan, pick that loan over a 30 year term that has a lower monthly payment. In this instance, you'd save a huge amount on interest charges by the time the loan is paid off.
After you have narrowed down your choices for a reputable student loan consolidation company, it's now time to choose one lender to finance the consolidation. Whether it be an online lending institution or a local bank you have chosen, you should be 100% sure that you understand all of the loan contract terms before signing it. This would include that you must be sure you understand the payment due date, whether or not you forfeit any applicable bonuses/incentives for being late on a payment, late payment fees, number of months for repayment, early payoff penalties (if applicable) and other related information. Once you have covered all of this information and agree with all of the terms of the contract, you are now all set to sign the consolidation loan and not long after that begin paying back the consolidation loan.