Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Education Loan Consolidation Options

By Dennis Powell

You did it! You scrimped and saved and studied and worked and borrowed more money than you ever have in your life, but you did it! You finally finished school. Most likely, you've got a few months of grace period to get settled into your new job - hopefully it's in the field you studied for - and then those student loan payments are gonna start coming do. Plan now to keep your expenses in check while ensuring that managing your education debt is a part of your long term financial plan.

Most people start their borrowing with a Federal Family Education Loan or FFEL. FFELs cover both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and an FFEL consolidation loan can wrap both of a borrower's federal loans into a single manageable package. FFEL consolidation programs offer extended repayment terms and fixed rates, and in some cases even those who have been in default in the past can qualify. If you have any federal education debt an FFEL consolidation loan should be the first place you look.

Private consolidation loans can package all of your non-federal loans into a single easy to make payment often with extended terms to lower the monthly bite even more (Though at the price of a higher overall cost.) Private and federal loans cannot generally be consolidated into the same package due to the variance in interest rates between them. Private loan interest rates are based on the borrower's credit rating so if your credit rating has improved since graduation - through a better job, etc. - they may be a good option.

Parents who borrowed on their children's behalf can also consolidate their loans with a PLUS loan consolidation. Again, extended terms and fixed rates make the monthly sting of payments a little easier to bear, though parents will want to explore a variety of options to ensure that they are making the best deal when consolidating their PLUS loans.

There are many alternative ways of consolidating education financing. For homeowners a second mortgage may provide a better solution to a consolidation loan giving the borrower the option to put of their education loans into a single package. Private loans from family members are another way some grads handle their finances, and for a lucky few, some employers even offer tuition reimbursement programs.

There are even options for those with less than stellar credit or who have maxed out traditional borrowing. Peer to Peer lending networks provide the same structure as the file sharing networks many people have grown up on, but this time, they deal with financing. Borrowers submit their loan request and groups of people bid on the loan offering a variety of interest rates and payment terms based on the project and the borrower's credit history. Once the details have been decided the final loan is serviced through the network which then disperses payments to the people who made the loan.

Sure you busted your tail in college but now it's time for the real world, which will have its own share of challenges. Nobody want to start out with a huge burden hanging over their head; student loan consolidation can offers the cancel to reduce all of your loans down to just one or two manageable payments each month so that you can concentrate on working your way into that corner office.

About the Author:

Dennis Powell began writing about student loan consolidation info while looking for the best student loan consolidation program for his own loans.


Post a Comment