Higher education in the United States is an expensive affair. As a result, several students opt for student loans in order to fulfill their academic achievements. Since many of the university fees are quite exorbitant, the loans often amount to several thousands of dollars. Because of these large amounts, the students end up in debt soon after they are out of university or college, and before they can embark on their career.
To deal with this early financial crisis, many companies and banks offer student loan debt consolidation. This process involves taking another loan to pay off the previous one. However, the new loan has lower rates of interest and longer repayment duration. If the student has taken more than one loan, these can all be combined together and paid off with the new loan.
The federal government supports most student loan consolidation programs. Consolidation with a Federal Consolidation Loan has several advantages, including a low, locked rate for the entire duration of the loan. The different student loan consolidation services offer varying interest rates. Some of these rates are discussed below.
4.5% Fixed Student Loan Consolidation: An offer with consolidation rate locked, with interest rates as low as 4.5%, with other parameters such as no credit check, no pre-payment penalties, this is a free U.S. government program – no fees or other charges, etc.
5.0% Student Loan Consolidation: An offer with rate as 5.0% and other parameters such as discount, no credit checks, no fees and other charges, etc.
1.75% Benefit Student Loan Consolidation: An offer with 1.75% total discount on fed rate after 24 months for federal student loan consolidation. Fixed interest rates as low as 4.875% and other parameters such as reduction in monthly payments up to 60%, 1.25% interest rate reduction after 24 on-time payments, 0.5% interest rate reduction for auto-debit discount, etc.
Thus, students have numerous options to choose from when selecting a loan consolidation service, depending on the amount to be repaid and the monthly income.
When choosing a student loan consolidation program, the most important factor to be considered is the interest rate. Various agencies offer special low student loan interest rates on Federal student consolidation loans. A consolidation with a low rate and a low monthly payment can save thousands in interest fees over the life of the loan. One needs to obtain multiple student loan consolidation quotes and compare rates, besides considering other parameters such as credit check, consolidation fees, early repayment options, and penalties.
Consolidation loan interest rates are based on a weighted average of the rates on the existing loans. The lower the original interest rates, the lower will be the consolidation interest rate. The interest rate on Federal Consolidation Loan is calculated on the weighted average of the current interest rates based on the loan disbursement date.
Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rate: The Federal government sets interest rates for consolidation. The fixed interest rate equals the weighted average of the interest rates of the loans being consolidated. The maximum rate should not exceed 8.25%. You can use a Weighted Rate Interest Calculator, which is easily available online, to determine your consolidation interest rate.
Various student loan consolidation services available offer attractive schemes to those looking to consolidate their educational loans. To get the best deal, students are advised to obtain multiple student loan consolidation quotes and compare the rates and other factors.