3 Things Every Student Should Know About Student Loan Consolidation

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Student loans differ from other types of loans in that they usually offer a greater amount of leeway in the amount of time you are allowed to repay the loan, as well as your consolidation options. Here’s how to make the most of the options available to you.1. Prioritize your student loan debtTake a long, hard look at all of your student loan debt and prioritize the loans that should be paid off first. This usually means the loans that are costing you the most amount of money, or have the highest interest rates.Be aware there are two types of student loans – federal loans, which are funded by the government and usually carry a very low rate of interest; and private loans, which normally require an above-average credit score or a co-signer. Private loans usually carry higher interest rates.When you start considering private consolidation, you will want to focus on your privately funded loans, and not combine them with your federal loans as it is unlikely that you will obtain a better interest rate on those than you receive from the government.Also, if you are looking into consolidation and you have debt with a very high interest rate, such as credit card debt, you may wish to concentrate on consolidating those debts first, as they are probably costing you more than your educational debt.2. Compare the interest rates of various private student consolidation loansThe interest rate for your private student consolidation loan will be determined by a number of factors. If you have improved your credit score since you first acquired the loan, you may be able to secure a more favorable fixed interest rate than you were originally offered.Shop around for a consolidation loan and talk to different lenders about your options. Often banks will offer a lower fixed interest rate if you set up an automatic draft to make your monthly payments from your bank account. Others offer a short deferment after the loan is approved before requiring repayment to begin.Try to obtain a loan that carries no penalty for repaying it early. You can save on the interest rate by sending extra payments towards the loan’s principal throughout the year. This is also a helpful tip for repaying your educational debt sooner.3. Put forth every effort to repay your student loan debtNever underestimate the importance of repaying your educational loans, regardless of how long it may take you. Failure to meet this obligation can cause many problems for you in the future, starting with requests for immediate repayment of the loan in full and moves toward wage garnishment, as well as severely damaging your credit score.Your student loans are often the first foray into the financial world, and are very important for this reason alone. Making it a habit from the very beginning to repay your debts, starting with your educational debts, can shape the correct attitude in your life towards debt and lay the framework for a successful financial future.Your credit is only as good as the trust lenders have in you. Private student loan consolidation can help you maintain that trust by fulfilling your obligations. You may have difficulty qualifying for automobile loans, home loans or other types of credit in the future if you do not attempt to repay your student loans. Also, while student loans do have more flexibility than other kinds of debt, there is one way that they are the worst kind of debt: They never go away. Not even filing bankruptcy will clear your student loan obligations.