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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Should I Consolidate My Private Student Loans?

By Louis Zhang

After successfully completing a college degree, many graduates are left with mounting student loan debt which they will need to begin repaying six months after accomplishing their education goal. This triumph can feel like defeat if after the six month grace period, he or she does not have a job that pays enough to meet the minimum monthly repayment amount.

This begs the question, should I consolidate my private student loans? To get some relief from the debt, this might be a viable option to consider. Consolidation can significantly lower your monthly payments by combining separate loans into one manageable loan. Stress is also reduced because you will feel more in control of your finances and not regret continuing your education.

Why Should I Consolidate My Private Student Loans?

If reducing the amount of stress you experience every month is not reason enough to consolidate your student loans, there are other reasons to consider which might be convincing.

Having lower monthly payments will extend the repayment term, giving you additional time to payoff the loans. Several different loans mean that you may have several different interest rates which add up to one big rate. Maintaining a good credit history equals lower interest rates.

If learning that lower payments, extended repayment term, and a lower interest rate isn't enough and you are still wondering whether you should consolidate private student loans, maybe this will convince you.

Loan consolidation is not limited to certain types of private student loans. If you are seriously considering consolidating, all private student loans are eligible. With a graduate degree, you can consolidate your undergraduate and graduate degree loans without the help of a cosigner. However, having a willing cosigner might help you receive an even lower interest rate.

What Information is Necessary If I Consolidate My Private Student Loans?

Once you have decided that consolidating your private student loans is the right financial decision, you must be prepared to provide specific information on the application such as your name, address, social security number, contact information for personal references, detailed information on your monthly income and expenses. This information is also needed on the cosigner for your loan.

For each loan that is to be consolidated, you will need the account number; name, address and telephone number for each loan servicer; and, the loan balance and payoff amount.

Hopefully, this information has helped you consider the question, should I consolidate my private student loans.

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