Many people recently graduated from nursing school find themselves carrying a huge load of nursing school loan obligations with them into their new careers, just as they are trying to get established in life. Having monthly nursing school loan repayments on top of the rent, utility bills, grocery, and car expenses which are a normal part of life can make it hard to stay afloat financially. But there is help, in the form of a nursing school loan consolidation.Federal nursing school loans have never been cheaper, and the cost of consolidating your nursing school loans can be less then three percent. If you choose not to consolidate, you can be saddled with a rate above eight percent on your government nursing school loans, and approaching twenty percent on private nursing school loans. By consolidating, you will save yourself thousands of dollars in interest charges in the long term.Your nursing school loan many even have a variable interest rate, which means that its low initial rate will rise every time the Federal Reserve raises the prime lending rate. If you consolidate your nursing school loans, however, you’ll be guaranteed your low rate for the life of the consolidation loan.Restrictions On Loan ConsolidationThere are, however, some restrictions regarding the nursing school loan consolidation process. There is a deadline after which you will not be allowed to consolidate your nursing school loans, so research the deadline and get the application process started. If you don’t, you’ll have to wait another year and there is no telling what will happen to the nursing school loan consolidation interest rates in the meantime.And just remember that you may not be eligible for the lowest consolidation rates; your consolidation interest rate will be based on the weighted average of the interest rates of each of your existing nursing school loans. Whatever the average is will be rounded up to the next .00125 %.Shop For A LenderDo some comparison shopping among the nursing school loan consolidators. Terms will be different from lender to lender, and some lenders will offer you a reduced rate if you allow them to automatically deduct your monthly payments from your bank account. Others offer a one percent rebate on your total loan balance if you are able to make your monthly payments in a timely manner for nine months in a row. If the amount of your nursing school loan consolidation is high enough, that can be a serious chunk of change!And many lenders not only offer a rebate, they will sweeten the pot by lowering your interest rates if you establish a record of paying on time. You may have to wait for tow or three years for that benefit, but you can check among lenders for the most favorable offers.Finally, you are allowed to consolidate your nursing school loans just once under the Federal government consolidating programs, which offer fixed rates over a repayment term which can be as long as thirty years.
If you’ve financed your education with a variety of student loans and are now facing a barrage of monthly payments, you may find that a student loan consolidation will work to your advantage. But if your loans are courtesy of the Federal government, you may not be surprised to learn that there is a plethora of regulations for you to follow in applying for student loan consolidation.FFEL And Direct Consolidation LoansThe US Federal government offers two school loan consolidation options, the Federal Family Education Loan Program, or FFEL, and the Direct Consolidation Loan program. It’s up to you to understand how they differ.If you have existing school loan consolidations which you wish to combine, the Direct Consolidation Loan Program must be willing to accept them. While some FFEL lenders may accept all eligible all for consolidation, others lenders may accept only FFEL loans. But if an FFEL lender refuses to include your non-FFEL loans in a school loan consolidation, it may offer you an alternative way to consolidate them.Repayment OptionsFFEL school loans consolidations are available with a variety of repayment options. They include the standard, graduated, extended, and income-sensitive repayment plans, and while every FFEL lender offers them, the details of each is different. The income-sensitive option, for example, factors the total student loan debt into the amount of the monthly repayments.The Direct Consolidation Loan Program, on the other hand, has the standard, extended, graduated, and income-contingent repayment options. The income-contingent repayment option is based on factors including the borrower’s adjusted gross income, family size, and amount of school loan debt.Even those who have defaulted on an FFEL consolidation loan may be considered for consolidation of their default into a second consolidation, but if you are in this situation you may have to hunt for a lender to accommodate you. The Direct Consolidation Loan Program will also permit the consolidation of defaults, and if you can find a lender who will do it, you will have your eligibility for Federal student loans restored.The Direct Consolidating Loans Program will permit you to consolidate your loans while you are enrolled as a student, and if you qualify, will give you a six-moth grace period before you must begin your monthly loan payments; applying for consolidation while you are a student may also earn you a lower interest rate. The FFEL, on the other hand, only allows school loan consolidation when you have left school when all your loans have reached their grace or active repayment periods.