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Student Loan Consolidation Rates

Eddie Said:

Is student loan consolidation a scam and should one do it soon before rates go up?

We Answered:

You should consolidate, since rates will be going up to 7% or higher. The interest is deductible, but you're still paying more with higher interest rates. Say you're in the 25% tax bracket, and have $10,000 in loans. At 5%, you pay $500 in interest. The tax deduction on the interest comes out to $125, so you've paid $375. At 7%, you pay $700 in interest, the tax deduction is $175, you've paid $525. The worse the interest rate gets, the more (net) you'll have to pay.

Glenn Said:

Student loan rates will be dropping, but my lender doesnt offer consolidation!? AES success Loan.?

We Answered:

The loan rates are only dropping on those federal Stafford loans that you took out that have a variable interest rate associated with them. Any loan that was disbursed after July 1, 2006 has a fixed 6.8% rate, and that rate is not changing.

If you have variable rate Staffords from prior to July 1, 2006, then yes the rate is going to drop and by consolidating them after July 1, 2008 you can lock it in as a fixed rate loan at just over 3% less than your current rate. Pretty good deal.

The hard part is finding a lender as most FFELP lenders have abandoned the consolidation ship. Your best bet is to consolidate those loans through the government's Direct Lending program with a Federal Consolidation loan.…

This is the website for the govt's site. Keep in mind that if you include other fixed rate federal loans that the calculation for your new fixed rate will be done on a weighted average. You should speak to a loan rep about this process and its affects, or only process variable rate loans in the consolidation.

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