For many recent college graduates, repaying multiple student loans is near the top of a list of economic worries. Faced with difficulty finding jobs in their fields or the need to leave school for full-time work, they can find themselves really struggling to meet their obligations.
What is a Consolidation Loan?
A consolidation is a way to bundle all or some of the multiple student loans an individual has taken out to get an education. For many borrowers, a consolidation can significantly cut the monthly loan payment. It can also simplify finances, because it results in only one loan and one payment.
Consolidation loans are available for both federal and private student obligations. However, a federal consolidation may not include both types.
Why Consider a Student Loan Consolidation?
Borrowers often consider consolidating when they need to lengthen their repayment term—up to 30 years for some federal loans—and to free more money to meet basic monthly obligations. For most, this translates into vehicle payments, things related to their jobs or careers and the cost of housing.
While extending the length of a loan means eventually paying more interest charges, it quickly makes the monthly payment more manageable. A borrower with private loans might find it helpful to consolidate them if his or her credit score has improved since borrowing the funds.
The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for all federal direct consolidation loans. The agency doesn’t require a minimum amount of debt to qualify. Typically, the minimum consolidated payment is about half the current monthly obligation.
However, borrowers whose current loan status indicates they’re still in school or under a judgment aren’t eligible. Individuals who have loans in garnished status must negotiate with the lender to bring then to a current status before they’re eligible for consolidation.
Types of Loans Eligible for Consolidation
Most federal loans are eligible to be consolidated. Among them are these types:
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Health Education Assistance Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Supplemental Loans for Students
- PLUS loans from the Federal Family Education Loan Program
- Federal Nursing Loans
- Some loans that are already consolidations
In general, it’s possible do a federal student loan consolidation after an individual has graduated, left school or is enrolled less than half-time.
How to Get Started
Knowing how to proceed and where to get information about loan consolidation can be confusing. Borrowers have individual needs that require varying solutions. Finding the right match can take a significant amount of focused research.
We’ve done the research necessary to match borrowers with the option that best fits their respective situation. We take the stress out of the process by matching each borrower with the company best suited to meet current needs.