Upon graduating, many students have loans that must be repaid. Whether the loans are federal or private, loan consolidation can ease the burden of paying these debts. Consolidation combines all loans into one sum with one organization. This means the student will only make one payment a month, and consolidating often reduces the amount paid each month by as much as 50 percent.
Wells Fargo (wellsfargo.com) should be considered, especially if you bank with banking giant For federal loans, Wells Fargo requires that you are graduated, the loans are in good standing and total over $20,000. If you meet these requirements, no fees or credit checks are required to consolidate your federal student loan. Consolidating with Wells Fargo allows you to lock in a low-interest rate, opportunities to lower your interest rate by setting up a direct withdrawal of funds for repayment every month, and customized repayment plans based on your current situation. Private student loan consolidation with Wells Fargo requires a credit check. Your annual interest will be determine by your credit, and Wells Fargo allows consolidation of private loans totaling from $5,000 to $100,000.
Next Student (nextstudent.com) is an online business. This makes applying for a loan, gathering information on that loan and making payments easy. Next Student offers all the benefits of other places to consolidate, including payment terms of up to 30 years, fixed interest rate, lowering of monthly payments by as much as 50 percent, no credit check for federal loans and no fees to sign up. Unfortunately, as of April 2011 Next Student is not accepting private loan consolidation.
Student Loan Network
Student Loan Network (studentloannetwork.com) is another place online to consolidate both federal and private student loans. For federal loans, the interest rate is determined by averaging all the interest rates on your current loans and then rounding up to the nearest one-eighth of 1 percent. No sign-on or origination fees are required, the interest rate is locked in for the life of the loan and you can select a payment option that suits you best. Lower Monthly Payments: With private student loan consolidation, most borrowers can reduce their monthly payment by extending the repayment term of their private student loan debt. Private student loan consolidation can lower your overall interest rate if you have a cosigner with good credit, saving you a lot of money in the long run, in addition to giving you all the benefits of consolidating federal loans.
Chase does not offer a federal loan consolidation program, but does offer a strongly competitive private loan consolidation. To consolidate with Chase, you must have a minimum of $7,500 in loans and pass a credit check or have somebody with strong credit cosign. Consigning should be considered regardless, as it can reduce your interest rate. No application or origination fees are applied. Chase also allows you to make prepayments without penalty.
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images