But, as Mark Kantrowitz warns on USA TODAY, “variable rates have nowhere to go but up.” If you sign up for that low, low rate now, you risk committing yourself to rising rates for years to come. Typical student loan repayment terms range from 5 to 20 years.
By extending the repayment term, you can significantly reduce the amount of money you’re required to pay each month.
Whom do I contact if I have questions about consolidation?
There is no cap on the interest rate of a Direct Consolidation Loan.
At a time when the economy is still in recovery and finding a well-paying job is easier said than done, the results of this debt could be devastating.
There is no application fee to consolidate your federal education loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Department of Education (ED) or ED’s consolidation loan servicers. Top A Direct Consolidation Loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.And lets be honest, you can make a lot better use of the money you save than your lender can.For instance, how much better off would we be if all that extra student loan interest money went instead to charities that help those hit by disaster such as Superstorm Sandy or this week’s Boston Marathon attack. Once your loans are combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan, they cannot be removed. If you want to lower your monthly payment amount but are concerned about the impact of loan consolidation, you might want to consider deferment or forbearance as options for short-term payment relief, or consider switching to an income-driven repayment plan.If you are making more than one student loan payment each month for your various types of loans, you may be tempted to consolidate to get down to one payment each month.Certainly this would make it easier to keep track of your educational debt, but is this the best route for you?Under a 10 year consolidation, the interest expense would be close, but can still cost you more while not lowering your monthly payments.But if you are taken in by the allure of a lower monthly payment and talked into a 20 year consolidation, you’ll pay drastically more in interest in the long run.You may be contacted by private companies that offer to help you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, for a fee. There’s no need to pay anyone for assistance in getting a Direct Consolidation Loan. The fixed rate is the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent. The loans that were consolidated are paid off and no longer exist.While federal student loans are fixed-rate, private loans can be either fixed-rate or variable.At first glance, variable rates may look appealingly low — 2.25 percent or 3.25 percent — compared to fixed-rate loans that ask for 6–7 percent interest.As part of the process, you’ll need to provide details about your existing federal student loans, and choose a federal loan servicer and repayment plan for your new consolidation loan.