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Consolidating Federal Student Loans

Russell Said:

What are the pros & cons of consolidating federal student loans?

We Answered:

The pluses:
* One payment a month compared to how many student loans out at the time of graduation needing payments.
* Fixed interest rate.
* Different payment options.
* More money to spend on other things than student loans.

* If eligible for a loan forgiveness program, elgibility goes away with the consolidation. (nursing and education in rural or urban areas). Check before consolidating.
* Grace period ends once consolidation happens. Wait until the six months are almost up.

Byron Said:

What banks or other credible organizations will help consolidate federal student loans?

We Answered:


Start out by investigating the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program - the federal loan consolidation division of the US Department of Education. You can find the information and application for this loan here:…

Start with the menu along the lefthand side of the page - there's helpful advice on the whole process "Should I consolidate?", "How Do I Benefit", and "What Loans Can I Consolidate" among other topics.

You can't get any more "credible" than the Department of Education, right? Good luck!

Chris Said:

Consolidating my federal student loans - looking for a fair rate. Help please.?

We Answered:

If you consolidate, the interest rate will be the average of all your rates, +1/8%. So you'd be looking at roughly a 7.6% fixed rate. The terms for deferment and forbearance remain the same as the Stafford loan. Also you can take up to 25 years to pay a consolidation loan.

So if you think that interest rate is attractive, then start researching lenders to see who offers the best incentive package. Many offer things such as interest rate reductions for on-time and electronic payments.

This only applies to Federal Student loans, you cannot consolidate private and Federal loans.

Heather Said:

Does anyone know anything about consolidating federal student loans?

We Answered:

There are two sources for student loans -- the federal government and private lenders. In order to obtain most federal student loans, you will first need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In most<!--instances the FAFSA is required for all federal financial aid including federal student loans. Deferment options are available while you are still attending school at least half-time. There are four main federal loan programs.

Federal loan consolidation is for students who are in repayment status or parents who wish to extend the repayment period on their current PLUS and obtain a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan-->you can combine all of your eligible federal student loans into one loan with a Federal Consolidation Loan. Consolidating also locks the interest rate you pay on your loan.

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