Many students and former students have probably heard about loan consolidation, federal student loan consolidation or other ways of combining student loans into a more manageable payment.
At the same time, it is a misunderstood topic because of the wide array of student loans that are given to students, and the different rules regarding their consolidation. In this article, I'll attempt to clear up some of the difficulty regarding this topic, and provide some insight into those wishing to consolidate.
What is student loan consolidation?- While many of you have undoubtedly heard or seen TV commercials for bill consolidation, debt consolidation and other types of payment relief, loan consolidation has nothing to do with any of those options. Simply put student loan consolidation is designed for one type of debt, those loans that were obtained specifically for the purpose of going to school, almost always for higher education.
Unlike Auto loans or Mortgage loans, students will often access a wide variety of loan types to obtain the total funding needed to complete the financial picture of obtaining a degree. Loans are obtained from different sources, such as the Federal government, private banks, and other entities at different times during the course of a college career. Usually, once the degree is completed, or the student has otherwise separated from school, they may have a confusing patchwork of loans with different amounts, rates and terms. Usually, this can add up to a hefty payment once school is complete and the 6 month grace period has expired. Consolidation allows students to combine all of these loans into one loan with a lower, single monthly payment.
Which is better Private or Federal Student Loan Consolidation? - The short answer is that Federal student loan consolidation is always going to be a lower rate and less expensive option because the government backs the loans and consolidating federal loans is easy, painless, and essentially cost free as long as you are qualified. The key element to remember here is that most students have combination of private and federal loans. Because you cannot include private loans in a federal consolidation, a federal consolidation only partially solves the problem for many students.
A private consolidation may also help you out in terms of your monthly payment, but is not assured to do so primarily because the entire consolidation has higher qualification requirements and is not backed by the Federal government or the Department of Education.
Hopefully, this brief overview has helped you sort out some of the differences between the different type of consolidation loans that are available for students. To learn more detail about these private student loan consolidation and federal student loan consolidation, check out the link below.
Neal Coxworth is an entrepreneur and a 17 year veteran of the consumer credit industry with experience in originating, underwriting and processing mortgage, student and consumer credit loans. He publishes an informational blog for consumers to provide insight and analysis to all major loan types as well other topics such as credit history, that most consumers will face.