Federal Student Consolidation Loan – 3 Tips

College graduates have accomplished something that relatively few people have: they have trudged through 4 or more years of week-in, week-out studies, attending classes, and parking one’s rear in the library. Sure, there are party schools out there – but even those grads have to work to get that golden tassel on graduation day.

There should be more than a modicum of pride felt in knowing that you have graduated from college. And, if you are like most grads, you now also have the responsibility of having to pay back your student loans.

Many students owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt upon graduation. Books, living expenses, and tuition can really add up – especially after 4 years. In fact, a lot of graduates carry multiple student loans with them upon graduation.

All of that debt has to be paid off eventually, of course.

And that repayment period starts not long after graduation. It can be a real pain to manage your student loan payments while at the same time you are just trying to get an apartment, pay your bills and maybe go out and have fun once in a while.

It is even more of a challenge having to manage these payments when you have multiple student loans, which amounts to having different due dates, different payment amounts, and different payment addresses to deal with each month.

One Alternative: Federal Consolidation Loans

For students in this situation, a federal consolidation loan can help. If your current loans are federal loans like Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, HEAL Loans, PLUS Loans and Direct Loans, this program allows you to consolidate them into a single loan.

The advantages of this are: you get one, fixed rate (which won’t/can’t go up over time), a single lender to deal with, and the possibility of lower payments if you choose to spread your loan out over more years.

3 Tips For Getting A Federal Student Consolidation Loan

If you believe a federal student consolidation loan might benefit you, here are 3 tips to getting there:

1. Decide If You Should Consolidate:

If you are interested in lowering your payments and simplifying your life, you should probably consolidate. However, if you are more than halfway through your current loan terms (i.e., you have paid 5 of the 10 years’ worth of payments), it may make sense to skip consolidation.

2. Figure Out Your Ideal Repayment Period:

Next, find an online loan calculator and plug in your current outstanding principal, new projected consolidation interest rate, and various payment terms like 10 years, 20 years, etc. Remember, the longer the repayment period, the more you will pay in total interest. But, at the same time, the lower your monthly payments will be.

3. Start The Application Process:

You can apply right on the U.S. Department of Education website. The process should take a few weeks to complete.

Follow these 3 steps to complete your consolidation loan and simplify your financial life.

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