Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Consolidating Student Loans Is Such A Great Financial Move

Handling college debt can be something of a mammoth task when the income of a student or recent graduate is low. But there is a way to make the project easier - namely, consolidating student loans. It might seem strange that loans can benefit those in stark financial problems, the fact is they do.

Even for lenders who deal with the worst financial cases, offering consolidation programs for college debt is recognized as a definite step in the right direction. These programs can be the difference between beginning a professional life in a strong financial situation, or beginning it close to bankruptcy. In the short-term at least, students and graduates see financial pressure lifted.

Still, student loans are serious agreements and so are the consolidation programs that can be used to manage them. The consolidation loan itself needs to be repaid in full, so it is only to be expected that some issues be cleared up before anything is finalized.

How Consolidation Is Effective

Some students wonder if consolidating student loans is going to make any real difference, and the simple fact is that it will. Having different college loans means that more than one interest rate is applied to different loan sums, and usually the repayment schedules vary too. It is not unusual, for example, for three or four repayments dates to be spread over a month.

The complicated nature of the combined debt means that the costs can be unnecessarily high. For example, by agreeing to the terms of a consolidation program for college debt, instead of having to repay loans with a combined sum of 0 every month, the required sum can fall to 0 - thereby easing a lot of pressure in the process.

This is because by consolidating any student loans, the term of the loan is lengthened to lower the monthly repayments, while the interest rate also falls a little. Basically, the debt becomes much more affordable. This advantage can be hugely significant to students still at college, as well as graduates still seeking employment.

Federal Loans Must Be Separate

Any federal government loans can be consolidated, but it is not a good idea to mix them with private loans when consolidating student loans. Managing college debt may be dependent on securing good terms in the first place, but the benefits of the original loans could be lost if the program is not right.

For example, when federal loans are secured, they typically come with very low interest rates and a good repayment schedule, especially when compared to the private loans that are granted. But consolidation programs for college debt are designed to provide exactly the kind of breaks that the federal loans already provide. The fact that a special loan is being secured in the private market means that the specific benefits are effectively lost.

So, it is only worthwhile consolidating the debt created by private student loans, with the terms offered being an improvement. Federal loans can be consolidated through specific federal consolidation programs.

Qualifying Criteria

As far as federal loan lenders are concerned, consolidating student loans is a good move, and as long as an applicant can prove they are in financial strife, they can see the existing loans bought out and replaced by a more manageable loan arrangement. However, only in some cases, do public lenders accept private debt also.

On the other hand, private lenders are not willing to accept federal debt. If they did, the cost to them of meeting the excellent terms of those loans make their consolidation programs for college debt impractical. Still, in gathering all existing student loans into one simple loan, with one interest rate applicable, means savings are guaranteed.

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