Limit Your Stress – Consolidate Student Loans
For most students that graduate from a two or four year degree program and then enter into the workforce, paying back student loans within the 10 year allowable time can be a real challenge. Most students during this first 10 years after graduation will get married, have at least one child, change jobs at least once and will purchase at least one vehicle and most likely a house. All these expenses can be difficult to manage on top of various federal and private school loans that may be outstanding. One major option is to consolidate student loans, which means borrowing to combine your student loans, pay them off, then pay off the remaining single consolidated loan over a longer repayment period.
The option to consolidate student loans is open to most employed graduates or even, in some cases, to students that are still in school but are in some way working to earn an income. To consolidate student loans it is important to consider all your options and to understand how the various interest rate differences on the original and the consolidation loan will compare over the long run. A financial planner, consultant or even your regular banker can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages to consolidate student loans.
Generally the biggest advantage to consolidate student loans is that it takes the multiple payments from different lenders you may have an literally pays off these loans, leaving you with one payment to make to the consolidated loan lender. In most cases, actually in virtually all cases, this one monthly payment will be less than the original multiple payments. The reason that this can happen is when you consolidate student loans the time that you have to repay is significantly expanded, meaning that you have to pay less each month.
The negative to working to consolidate student loans is also related to the repayment stretch. You will have to keep making payments for much longer, which may be up to 30 years, before you will be debt free with regards to the student loans. This means that over the life of the consolidated loan you will pay significantly more in interest, which may be a huge dollar amount if you actually make only the required payments. One way to minimize this interest amount is to make more than the required monthly payment on the consolidated loan, and ensure that the extra payment is going towards the principal. This will rapidly cut payments off the duration of the loan, especially if you start right when the consolidated student loans are put into place.