Consolidating Student Loans

Refinancing student loans is a decision that approximately 2 out 3 college graduates face each year. After your graduation you have approximately 6 months to begin a repayment program of some kind for your student loans, and it is always a good idea to consider refinancing student loans as a way of reducing your monthly payments and your overall cost of the loan. You reduce your overall loan ownership cost when you find a consolidation loan that has an interest rate lower than the loans you currently have. It is important to understand the process of refinancing student loans before you set out to actually get involved in signing a loan agreement.

There are a lot of reasons to consider refinancing student loans. Each loan carries its own service charge each month and consolidating those loans will eliminate the multiple service charges and bring it down to just one service charge. If you can find a consolidation loan that has an interest rate lower than the lowest interest rate of the multiple student loans you currently have, then you will lower your monthly payments as was mentioned before. A couple of interest points can make a huge difference in how much you wind up paying each month, and how much interest you are responsible for paying back throughout the life of the loans. It is possible that you graduated college with multiple student loans that you have to pay back and it is just easier to have only one loan to pay versus having to administer several loans each month.

The process of consolidating student loans varies depending on what kind of student loans you have. If you have student loans that are guaranteed by the federal government, then there is a program you can get involved in after graduation that will allow you to consolidate those loans at the lowest available interest rate. Many students have what are called Stafford loans, and these are loans backed by the federal government. Getting a consolidation loan for government back student financing is not a difficult process, and it can be done at any bank that participates in the Stafford program. In most cases government-backed student loans do not cover the costs of going to school; so many people are forced to get private student loans. Unfortunately these loans are not backed by the federal government, and in order to consolidate these loans the student must work out a loan program with the financial institution directly.

When you consolidate your student loans you have the potential to lower your monthly payments, and you make life a lot easier by only having to worry about having one loan payment as opposed to multiple loan payments. You have been accruing interest all throughout school, and depending on what kind of loan you have you may be responsible for paying that interest back as part of your student loan repayment. A consolidation could make those payments lower by offering a lower interest rate. If the numbers match up, then consolidation becomes a good choice.

Sometimes the numbers do not match up and getting a consolidation loan is not a good business decision. If you secured all of your student loans back when interest rates were very low, and you are considering consolidating at a time when rates are high then a consolidation loan could cost you more than paying them off individually. It is also smart to consider the size of the loans you are looking at before you group them all together into one loan. If you take a relatively small student loan and group it into a consolidation loan you have then added more interest to it and extended the amount of time it would take to pay that loan back. Look at each loan individually and determine which ones you can pay off relatively quickly, and which ones need consolidation due to the size of the loan.