When you graduate and start earning income, it’s time to look at your total debt and consolidate loans if you have more than one. It may be a pain, but you will save a considerable amount of money in interest and you will be making only one payment. Much better than chipping away at four or five different loans and not eating away at the principal for years.
Just as in your original student loan process, know that there are many types of student loans, but mainly, they can be broken down into two parts, private loans and federal loans. Always take advantage of all the federal loan money (like the Federal Stafford Loan) you have available before you attempt to borrow with a private loan. Private loans are typically more expensive than federal student loans.
For the most part, you cannot combine Federal and private loans into a consolidation package, so remember to look closely and be sure what you have can be consolidated.
Big banks like Wells Fargo and CitiBank do have student loan consolidation programs. Check them out and see if they compare in rates and qualifications to these companies who specialize in consolidating student loans taken from the Finaid.gov website:
|Lending Private Student Loan Consolidation||$7,500 minimum. Maximum of $125,000 in undergraduate private student loan debt and $175,000 in graduate school debt. Up to 15-year repayment term with no pre-payment penalties. Interest ranges from 3M Prime + 1.50% to 3M Prime + 4.00%. Origination fee is 1.00%. Interest-Only Repayment Option for up to 4 years for eligible borrowers. Cosigner release option after 12 months of on-time principal and interest payments. Loans originated by cuStudentLoans.org.|
|cuStudentLoans.org cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation||$7,500 minimum. $125,000 maximum for undergraduate degree recipients, $175,000 for graduate degree recipients. Up to 15-year term. Variable rate loan. Interest ranges from 3M LIBOR + 4.25% to 3M LIBOR + 6.75%. Origination fee is 1.00%. Cosigner release option after 12 months of on-time principal and interest payments, provided that credit criteria are satisfied. Graduated, interest-only (up to 4 years) and level repayment options available.|
|SoFi Graduate Loan Refinancing||$5,000 minimum, $200,000 maximum. 5.99% fixed rate (requires auto-debit). No origination fee. Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years. No prepayment penalties. Funded in part by alumni investors. (SoFi is the only lender that will consolidate federal education loans with private student loans. This converts the federal loans into private loans that are not government guaranteed and not eligible for public service loan forgiveness.)|
|Student Loan Network Private Loan Consolidation||$10,000 minimum. $300,000 maximum. 20-year term for loans less than $40,000. Up to 30-year loan term for higher amounts. Variable rate loan. Interest rates of 3-month LIBOR + 5.00% to 3-month LIBOR + 8.5%. Origination fees of 1% to 5%. No prepayment penalties. Cosigner release after 48 on-time payments, contingent upon primary borrower credit.|
Take the time to investigate all your options.