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Graduates Beware! Do Not Consolidate Student Loans Without Proper Research!

Are you a student thinking about loan consolidation? You must conduct proper research prior to consolidating your student loans. Loan consolidation is not an easy task and requires careful consideration and research. It is essential that you equip yourself with proper knowledge and information about student loan consolidation in order to avail the best possible consolidation plan perfect for your needs.

Why Consolidate Student Loans?

A great scholar once said three kinds of things are a source of happiness for individuals – Good Health, Freedom from Debt and Clear Conscious. Student loan consolidation is the Holy Grail for debt-ridden students that help them attain that elusive happiness. It provides relief from the burden of debt and prevents defaulting on these loans.

Loan consolidation provides numerous benefits to students. Some of these benefits include:
1. Fixates interest rates for the duration of the loan
2. Consolidates multiple loan payments into single monthly payment
3. Offers the flexibility of paying loan amounts according to monthly income
4. Does not require good credit score to qualify for the consolidation plan
5. Enables you to set your financial goals for gradual retirement of the loan amount

Read these effective tips on student loan consolidation to understand how to get the best terms and conditions for refinancing the loans to match your needs.

Research Tip #1 Find out the Impact of Consolidating Student Loans
Before consolidating the loans, you should find out the effect of merging multiple loans with different terms and conditions. Sometimes the different interest rate on these loans increases the debt burden on consolidating the loans.
For example, consolidation of Harvard and Perkins loans results in increased interest payment rather than reduce payments on consolidation. Whereas, Stafford loans can easily be consolidated without losing any benefit of consolidation.
Hence, you should research properly and determine the impact of consolidating the loans before applying for the program.

Research Tip #2: Avoid Joint Consolidation of Loans
Join consolidation refers to merging student loans of two or more individuals. In case you and your spouse are both burdened with student debt, you should research properly before considering the option of joint consolidation. Instead of sharing the debt burden, joint consolidation doubles the strain of financing the loan in the long term. The reason is that joint consolidation treats the partners as two individuals and not one. So, in cases of unemployment or uneventful demise of one of the partners they cannot apply for deferment of payment unless both of them become unemployed or pass away. Furthermore, in cases of divorce, it will create difficulties in case one ex-partner does not pay the required amount on time.

Research Tip #3 Find out Tax Benefits on Student Loans
US citizens can avail tax reduction according to IRS income form 1040 and 1040A. You should study these sections properly to find out how much tax benefit you can avail apropos to your student loans. Through proper research, you can find out how to avail tax reduction of as much as $2,500 to your student loans.

The task of consolidating the loans can be a difficult process for most students. That is why a professional student loan consolidation experts can help you maximize the benefits associated with consolidating the loans. These experts can provide qualified advice and guidance so that you can obtain the most advantageous refinance terms and conditions on student loan consolidation.

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How Extended Repayment Plan (ERP) Reduces Your Debt Burden?

Student debt consolidation allows you to refinance your student loans at lenient terms and conditions. All your loans are consolidated into a single package. You have to pay fixed monthly payment on a single loan with increased probability of reduced interest rates on your loan.

However, consolidation is not the only way to get relief from your debts. You can also avail Extended Repayment Plan (ERP) to reduce your debt burden. This extremely valuable plan allows reduction in financing the debt by as much as $1,000.

How Extended Repayment Plan (ERP) Reduces Your Debt Burden?

Extended Repayment Plan (ERP) is a government-backed loan-refinancing plan to give relief to students suffering from the burden of debts. It is similar to standard repayment plan with the exception that you can extend your repayment period to up to 25 years. Standard repayment plan, on the other hand, allows extending the repayment period up to 10 years only.

Furthermore, eligibility of ERP does not depend on your income or debt. Even if you have high income and low debt, you can avail ERP to significantly reduce monthly payments on your debts. You have to pay lower monthly payments which can get as low as interest-only!

Eligibility Requirement and Constraints for ERP

You should fulfill the certain requirements if you want to avail the option of ERP to get relief from your student debt.

  1. Net outstanding balance should be above $30,000 to become eligible for student loans. This includes all federal loans such as Federal Consolidation Loans, PLUS (Parent and Graduate) and Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized).
  2. Federal consolidation loan should be obtained on or after October 7, 1998.
  3. At least one of the loans should be Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

Additionally, Extended Repayment Plan (ERP) is subject to certain constraints. Some of the constraints include the following.

  1. Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) should be obtained after October 7th 1998.
  2. Publish Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is not eligible for this program.
  3. Consolidated loans containing private loans and certain other loans are ineligible for ERP.

 

ERP is no doubt a great debt relief program for students burdened with the weight of their loans. Yet it is not the only option available for students to get relief from their debts. There is another option for students who do not yet have a stable job to finance their debts even under softer terms and conditions.

Graduated Repayment Plan

Graduated Repayment Plan (GRP) is ideal for students who do not have a steady job at the moment but expect to secure a lucrative job in the near future. In this student debt relief program, the monthly payment varies but has a fixed time period of 10 years. You start off by paying minimum monthly payments in lieu of your loans. This payment will increase after every 2 years in accordance with the 10-year time period. However, the catch with GRP is that your overall interest payment also increases with the extension of repayment period.

Student debt consolidation plans require careful understanding of the requirements and constraints to obtain relief from the loans. It is strongly recommended that you seek expert guidance and advice to consolidate your loans successfully.

You are welcome to contact us in case of any confusion relating to the debt consolidation program. We will gladly assist you and provide further guidance regarding the debt consolidation process.

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Consolidating Student Loan Debt

About the Student Loan Consolidation Program

Student loan consolidation combines all of your previous loans into one single loan that is paid off at a specified date. The benefit of consolidating student loan debt is lower monthly payments to finance the debt. This also allows you enough time to get a steady and stable job to ensure that you easily pay off the debt within time. Consolidating your federal student loans requires that you fulfill certain criteria to become qualified

Federal Student Loans
You should be glad to hear that majority of government student loans are qualified for consolidation. Some of the federal student loans that are eligible for consolidation includes:

  • Supplemental Student Loan
  • PLUS Loans
  • Federal Nursing Loans
  • Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans
  • Health Education Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • PLUS loans (Feel Program)

Fulfilling the Eligibility Criteria

You should note that you must fulfill certain conditions to become qualified for consolidating student loans. One of the conditions to avail this debt relief program is that at least one of the loans should be within the allowed grace period. Moreover, you have to make an agreement with your previous lenders relating to loans that you have failed to pay prior to consolidating student loans.

Prepare Yourself Before Applying for Consolidation
The importance of doing proper research before applying for consolidation cannot be emphasized enough. Although you may be qualified for consolidating, sometimes your debt burden increases with consolidation. Furthermore, you should remember that whether loan consolidation is right for you or not depends upon how much you can forego in order to get relief from your debt burden. Consolidating your student loans extends the repayment period that results in lower monthly payments, but it also increases the amount of interest rate on the loans.

Getting guidance from professional loan consolidation counselling firms is the best option to ensure that you get the best terms and conditions on consolidating your loans. After all, you want to get relief from your debt burden and not overburden yourself with debt.

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How to Qualify for Federal Student Loan Consolidation?

Thousands of US students are availing private and federal student loans to finance their studies. Higher education is the stepping-stone of securing a better paying job in the future. Those students that possess a master or bachelor degree have a better chance of being employed in big firms with higher pay prospects.

However, the dilemma is that under the current economic climate getting a lucrative job offer takes time. This means that students who have availed loans to finance their debt will face difficulty in financing their debt upon graduation. Defaulting on the loans will severely hurt their credit score meaning they will have increased difficulty in obtaining loans for such important activities like mortgaging a house, buying a car, and paying off other essential expenses. The perfect answer to these students’ dilemma is consolidating the student loans. Consolidation gives relief to the debt-ridden students by reducing the required monthly repayments and thus avoiding the prospect of default.

How Does the Federal Student Loan Consolidation Process Work?
The student loan consolidation process merges all your private and federal student loans into one single loan. The interest rate on consolidation is normally lower, thus allowing you reprieve from financing the loans.

Consolidating federal student loans is relatively easier than consolidating private student loans.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation
The process and eligibility criteria for federal student loan consolidation are quite different from consolidating private student loans. The interest rate on the consolidated federal loans is calculated using an average interest rate of all the interest rate. If you possess only one federal loan then the interest rate will be determined by the prevalent federal interest rate.

The advantage of consolidating federal loans is that it fixates an interest rate during the duration of the loan. This allows you to know the exact amount you have to pay in terms of the loan and interest rate. It shades you from the prospect of increasing interest rates putting pressure on your finances. Student loan consolidation also extends the repayment period on consolidation, thus reducing the monthly payment amount you have to make in lieu of the student loans.

You should note that not all federal loans are qualified for consolidation. However, the Following federal loans are eligible:
● Federal Nursing Loans
● Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
● Federal Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
● Health Education Assistance Loans
● Perkins Loans
● Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
● Direct PLUS Loans
● PLUS loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program

If you have used the above federal loans, you can easily get relief from the debt through consolidating these loans.
Once you know that your federal loan is eligible for consolidation, you have to contact a student loan consolidation firm in order to consolidate the student loans. First take note of all your accumulated debts, interest rate on debt, loan duration, outstanding loans, and the lenders’ contact details. You have to provide these details to the loan consolidation firm.

The loan consolidation firm will scrutinize your application, verify the details, and then make payments to your existing lenders. You will then have to sign a new contract with the loan consolidation firm detailing the updated interest rate and loan repayment period. Before consolidating your federal student loans, it is essential that you do proper research relating to the consolidation process. You should get expert advice relating to the consolidation process to ensure that you get the most beneficial terms and condition on consolidation.

 

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Is Federal Student Loan Consolidation the Right Option for You?

Most students in the US are overburdened with an average debt of around $26,000. Students graduate not with the feeling of triumph and elation but with gloom and despair. The current economic scenario has made it difficult to secure a high-paying job right after graduation. It takes time for graduate students to obtain a lucrative job offer. However, the loan interest amount keeps on accumulating during this period making it difficult to finance student loans.

At the present, two out of every three graduating students is suffering from the pain of private and federal student aid or loans. If you are also one of these students facing the same dilemma then you should note that you have to act early to get relief from your debts. The best respite from the scourge of these private or federal student aids is to consolidate these loans and get relief from the debt.

However, you should also know that the Federal student loan consolidation program is not for everyone. There are certain pros and cons relating to student loan consolidation that you should be aware of prior to consolidating your student loans.

Student Loan Consolidation – Benefits and Downsides

Student loan consolidation merges all you previous loans into one loan that you have to pay at a specified future date. You can merge both private and federal student aids and loans. Upon consolidation, your loan repayment period extends with the prospect of reduced interest rates. These two factors make it possible for you to hand out lower monthly payment in lieu of the amount of the loan.

The concept of student loan consolidation may seem like the perfect panacea for all your debt troubles. However, you may find that there are certain drawbacks in the student loan forgiveness program. Although the interest rate may reduce on consolidation, in addition to the extension of the repayment period, it also results in an extra net payment on account of loans. Since the duration of the loan increases, the interest rate accrued on these loans accumulates resulting in an increase in the net loan amount due. Whether you want to consolidate private or federal debt aids, it is essential that you get professional help and advice to consolidate your loans in order to obtain optimum benefits on consolidation.

Is Student Loan Consolidation Right for You?

The first thing you need to determine before consolidating your private and federal aids and loans is to determine your objective of consolidation. If you want to gain in the short term in exchange for a higher net loan amount then student loan consolidation is perfect for you. However, it is advisable that you obtain professional help and advice on student loan consolidation. This will ensure that you get the most optimum benefit on consolidating your multiple loans.

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The Student Loan Consolidation Process Revealed

The Student loan consolidation process takes around 2 – 3 months during which your application is scrutinized, prior loans are paid off, and a new loan is issued. Your prior loans are paid off by the loan consolidation agency and a new loan account is created with lenient terms and conditions.

The steps involved in student loan consolidation include:

Step 1: Application Evaluation
The first step in loan consolidation is submitting an application with concerned loan consolidation firms. They enter your application in their database and a lot of specific numbers to identify the application. An official will ensure that the application is complete in all aspects prior to sending it for further review.

Step 2: Background Check-up
Loan consolidation firms will then verify the details that the application comprises of. They will get in touch with your lenders to determine the accuracy of information relating to the loan amount and other details. They can also obtain additional information from the lenders such as outstanding balance, fees payable and other details relating to the loan. The loan consolidation firms can either perform this background checkup through e-mail or post. In both cases, a certificate is dispatched to the loan holders who will have to send it back with a proper reply in 10 days.

Step 3: Verification of Consolidated Loans
After receiving the certificate from the loan owners and confirming the detail of loans, the consolidation firm will forward a statement containing verified information relating to the loans. You have to send this statement back to the consolidation firm within 15 days after verifying that the information in the statement is correct according to your information. In case you do not reply within 15 days, the lender considers that you are in agreement with the statement and will proceed further with the loan application.

Step 4: Paying Off Previous Student Loans
Upon completion of the verification process, the loan consolidation firm will make payment for your previous loans contained in the loan application to the lender. The lenders are required to dispatch a repayment notice when they receive payment for the loans. In the case of over or under payment of the loan amount, a federal service firm will decide upon the issue.

Step 5: Setting up the Account
After completion of the above process, the loan official will create a fresh account for paid loans. You will receive a greeting letter specifying that your account has been set up and that your loans have been consolidated.

Conclusion
Student loan consolidation provides innumerable benefits for students. It extends the payment period resulting in a lower monthly payment to finance the debt. Yet, it is not for everyone.

If you possess the financial capability to pay all of your existing debts, then the student loan consolidation may not be right for you. Student loan consolidation no doubt extends the repayment period, but may also result in the accumulation of interest rates that increase the loan amount in the long term. Student loan consolidation is only suitable for you if you cannot afford to make monthly payments to finance the loans. It avoids the prospect of defaulting on the loans and ensures that you pay off the loan amount gradually as your financial situation improves.

If you think that you can benefit from student loan consolidation, you are strongly advised to seek professional help and guidance. These professional advisers can guide you in obtaining the best possible terms and conditions relating to consolidated loans.

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Why Consolidate Student Loans Debt?

Student Debt Consolidation – Get Relief from Student Loans

In a nutshell, student debt consolidation is a loan refinancing program that makes it easier for students to make monthly loan payments and avoid default. The process involves a lender paying out previous loans and offering a new loan with softer terms and condition. All the prior loans are merged into a single loan with generally reduced rate of interests.

The rate of interest on a consolidated loan is determined by taking a weighted average of rate of interest on previous loans. This normally results in making reduced interest payments as compared to those paid on individual loans. However, you should be aware that consolidating certain loans results in an increase in the rate of interest. Getting professional advice ensures that the debt consolidation results in relief from the debt burden rather than further exacerbation of the problem.

Debt Consolidation Options –Private Loans and Government Loans

Student loan consolidation is not an easy task. As mentioned, consolidation of certain loans results in an increase in debt burden rather than providing relief from the debt. This is especially the case when consolidating some government loans like Harvard and Stafford loans with private loans. You can lose the benefits attached with these loans on consolidation thereby increasing the debt burden. Therefore, you should try consolidating such government loans separately to avoid losing the benefit attached to these loans.

That is not to say that you should consolidate each and every government loan separately. There are certain cases when consolidating private and state loans provide benefits in terms of significantly reducing monthly loan payment. So, how do you determine the best course of action regarding private and state loans consolidation?

The first choice is to conduct extensive research relating debt consolidation before applying for such loans. Specifically, you should know about the eligibility criteria, consolidation process and options trend reports, latest bills and other aspects of debt consolidation.

And the second choice available for you is to let professional consolidation firms handle the case of debt consolidation for you. These professionals know the nitty gritty of the debt consolidation process. They can provide valuable guidance and advice in preparing for your debt consolidation with a greater possibility of getting the best possible terms and conditions on your consolidated loans.

Conclusion
Successful student debt consolidation requires proper research and guidance. The debt that allowed you to finance your graduation cannot be paid back unless you secure a steady and stable job, which takes time. That is why it is important that you should get help as soon as possible and consolidate your loans to avoid defaulting on them.

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7 Effective Tips for Managing Your Student Loan Payments

Managing student loans is not easy. As if the tense study routine was not enough, students have to constantly face the mental anguish of financing these loans. Just one missed payment of a loan installment could severely impact their credit score. And a low credit score is the last thing students want at this stage in their life. It would lower the chances of obtaining credit to finance essential necessities of life like mortgaging a house or buying a car.

Here are 7 effective tips on dealing with those dreaded student loans. These tips will be helpful to students in avoiding extra charges, penalties and interest payments that would increase the burden of financing these loans. By following these tips, students can effectively manage their debt payments and avoid the prospect of defaulting on their student loans.

1. Make Sure You Fully Understand Your Loans
It is extremely important that you know the complete details about your loans. Apart from the obvious knowledge of loan amount, due date and interest on loans – you should also try to determine hidden cost charges and penalties relating to your loans. Moreover, you should have the contact details of each of your lenders and keep in touch with them to know the status of your loans.

2. Make Sure You Are Aware of the Grace Period
The grace period on private or federal student loans refers to the amount of time you are allowed by the lender after graduation till which you have to start making payment for your loans. Most lenders allow a 6 month grace period, but you should contact your lenders to clarify this matter.

3. Maintain Regular Contact with Your Lenders
It is also necessary to maintain regular contact with your lenders. You should update your lenders about any change in you cell number, email address and other important contact details. You should be aware of any change in policies, fees, or rates apropos your loans so that it does not cause you a shock on approaching graduation day when you have to start making payments for the loans.

4. Avoid Missing Any Monthly Loan Payments
When the grace period expires, it is vital that you regularly pay the monthly installment amount. You should never try to miss any payment as it will negatively reflect on your credit score.

5. Consider Extending You Loan Period
The duration of most private student loans and federal student aids vary. You should select a repayment duration that you feel is suitable for you. Most of these loans are of a ten-year duration. However, if you feel that this duration is not enough for you, you can request your lender to extend the loan duration prior to signing the loan agreement. However, you should note that extending the repayment amount also increases the net amount due as interest keeps on accumulating during the duration of the loan.

6. Consider A Student Loan Consolidation Program to Get Relief
If you have availed multiple private and federal student loans, it is advisable to consolidate these loans to get some relief from the debt burden. Consolidating your loans makes it easy for you to manage the loans in the form of a single loan that has to be paid at a specified date in the future. In some cases, consolidating the loans may also result in reducing the interest rate that remains fixed during the duration of the loan.

7. Get Help from a Student Loan Consolidation Advisor
You should note that student loan consolidation is a complex process. In order to obtain the best terms and conditions on the consolidated loans, you have to know the ins and outs of the loan consolidation process. You should also know the complications of consolidating certain federal aids such as Perkin Loan and Stafford loans with private student loans. Loan consolidation firms are expert in this matter and availing their services will definitely raise your chances of obtaining the loans on best possible terms and conditions that are ideal for you.

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Effective Student Debt Forgiveness Guidelines

Most students hastily obtain a student loan without thinking about the complication of availing these loans. There is a diverse range of student loans that entail different terms and conditions. Changing policies regarding these student loans have impacted both the federal and private lending practices.

Understanding the types of student loans and the student debt forgiveness programs available for you will make it easier for you to finance these loans.

1. Recognize That Not All Debts Are the Same

Many students obtain loans with the standard payment plan. They think that they will effortlessly make the monthly debt payments during the duration of the debt. This is not necessarily true.

The interest rate on the standard student loans varies during the duration of the debt. As of July 1 2013, the government has revised long-term T-Bills rate that has resulted in drastic changes in the monthly financing of student loans.  The best solution to this dilemma is to opt for a targeted student loans repayment plan. This allows you to pay back your student loans at an earlier period that prevents exposure to rising interest rates in the future. Apart from this, there are several other federal loan repayment options such as an extended payment plan (ERP), forbearance and Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) etc that gets you relief in financing your student loans.

2. Recognize That Not All Choices Will Suit Your Requirements

A number of different debt relief options are available for the students. Most students are not aware of the eligibility requirements, benefits, implications, or even the existence of such loans. They miss the opportunity of benefiting from such loans that they could have easily obtained with just a little effort and research.

Some of the choices available for student loans include the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) program, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and Income Based Repayment program (IBR).

• Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program: PSLF program allows tax-free loan clemency of federal loans provided you have made 10 years or 120 regular payments on the loan amount. In exchange for student loan forgiveness, you may be required to serve a number of years in public institutions.

•Income Based Repayment program (IBR): An IBR plan allows you to limit your monthly payment to 15% of your discretionary income. In addition, the government will subsidize outstanding interest for up to three years of availing the repayment plan. What’s more, if you have regularly paid all the payments of the loan for the last 25 years, you do not have to pay any more in lieu of outstanding loan amount.

• Pay as You Earn (PAYE) program: This scheme is identical to the IBR program with the exception that the monthly payment can be reduced to 10% of your discretionary income. Moreover, the forgiveness period can also be reduced by 5 – 20 years of qualified monthly payments. This scheme, however, is limited for Federal loans disbursed after October 1, 2011.

Knowing your options regarding student loans will make it easier to finance the loan and avoid defaulting on these loans. You should contact professional experts to guide you in this matter so that you can avail the best debt relief program suitable for your needs.

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Obama’s PAYE Student Loan Forgiveness Makes Education Less Burdensome

President Obama announced a brand new set of executive actions that will help lift the burden of student loan debt. Also promised is a radical expansion in the criteria for the alternative student loan repayment program.

An unprecedented number of students are now dependent on student loans to pay for their college education. This is probably the biggest reason why our government believed that actions were necessary to expand educational opportunities to all Americans, making it easier and more manageable for the students to pay off their loans.

Introduced in 2011, the original Pay As You Earn, student loan forgiveness program was providing affordable loan repayment services to 1.6 million borrowers; however, this new amendment will increase its reach to nearly 5 million potential borrowers.

Here’s What Will Happen under the New Rules:

The new executive order will further ease the college debt troubles by allowing borrowers to cap their payments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Quite a number of borrowers already had this facility. This time around, the order includes 5 million more people who weren’t covered previously, and they also include people who got their loans before October 2007.

President Obama’s alternative payment plan helps students in a variety of ways. For example, public-sector employees with regular, on-time payments may see their debts forgiven after some time. Similarly, teachers can also apply to have the rest of their debt cancelled after 10 years of regular payments. While low-income borrowers may see their balance canceled after 20 to 25 years of on-time payments.

The fact of the matter is that many student loan borrowers are working hard and being responsible about their monthly payments, but the debt still remains a very real struggle for them.

President Obama’s student loan forgiveness programs are processed and made available to borrowers now. Click Here for more info.

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