Due to the current economic climate, many lenders are no longer participating in Federal Loan Consolidation. Currently, the only outlet for loan consolidation is through the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation program. However, you should be aware that consolidation is not the only way to access long term repayment options. Students have the ability to extend repayment for up to 25 years without consolidating. Borrowers should consider all of their repayment options before jumping into consolidation. The following is a brief overview of repayment options available to students.
- Fixed interest
- Monthly payments
- Repayment period 10 years
- Monthly payments start low and increase at scheduled intervals until paid in full
- Repayment period up to 25 years
- Borrowers must have at least $30,000 in student loans
- Fixed monthly or graduated payments
- Repayment period 25 years
- Payments are based on your monthly gross income, with annual adjustments.
- Monthly payments must cover at least the monthly accrued interest.
- Borrowers must submit proof of income 90 days before repayment starts.
- Repayment period 25 years
There may be situations when consolidation could be an appropriate solution to dealing with student loan debt.
- To simplify your loan portfolio
- To maximize your repayment incentives
- When loan forgiveness is not an option
- When interest rates are low and can be locked in
Even if you have not previously borrowed through the Federal Direct Loan program, you may be eligible to consolidate your loans through the Direct Loan program. To find out more about consolidation with Direct Loans, visit the Direct Loan Program Consolidation web site. Before a borrower consolidates their student loans they should ask the following questions of themselves and their consolidation company.
- Do I have student loans with variable or fixed interest rates?
- If I previously consolidated my loans, did I lose my grace period?
- What benefits do I receive from my lender?
- What is the cash value of those benefits?
- If I consolidate now will I lose my borrower benefits?
- Do I get any borrower benefits when I consolidate?
- What is the cash value of the consolidation benefits?
- How does each set of benefits compare?
- Is it more beneficial to me to consolidate now or at a later date?
- Who is the Lender, loan holder and servicer? (This is subject to change)
Borrowers should remember that student loan repayment is a long term relationship. You must be conscious of the decisions you make about your student loan repayment to ensure that the relationship is beneficial.
If you have any questions regarding if consolidation is right for you, please contact the Student Financial Services Office for assistance. We can be reached at 314.977.9840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.