Student Loans: Shop and Compare

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How Student Loan Consolidation Can Help You

Student loan debt is a hot topic. No wonder, when you look at the numbers. Total student loan debt in the US is more than $1.4 trillion. You or someone you know is paying back student loans, and many people are looking for a way to ease the burden.

A student loan consolidation combines two or more of your student loans into a new loan. A consolidation loan can reduce your costs, give you a more affordable monthly payment, and get you out of debt sooner.

If you are like most student loan holders, you took out multiple loans to pay for your education. Managing a number of payments with different loan terms, interest rates, and due dates can be a confusng burden. A student loan consolidation  with onepayment, reduces your stress and saves you time.

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The Big Question: Federal or Private?

Over 90% of student loans are federal student loans. A big reason is that federal loans are based need, not on your credit. Getting multiple loans is common. When you take out loans over a several, you may not fully grasp just how much you owe and what a significant burden paying them back can be - even if you find a job tied to your degree.

If making your payment is a strain, look into the Federal Student Loan Consolidation program. Private loans can't be included.

Combining several federal student loans into one new loan at a fixed rate with no application or loan origination fees is a simple process. Consolidation may lower your monthly payment, reducing the strain on your budget. 

Defaulting on federal loans can cause big problems. The government can snatch your tax refund and garnish your wages without the need to sue you. Be sure you can afford the new payment and weigh the pros and cons of federal student loan consolidation before you make a decision.

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Private Student Loan Consolidation

Private student loans are a common way to pay for costs you need to cover if federal aid or loans, scholarships, working while going to school, or getting help from family isn't enough.

Private student loans require strong credit and sufficient income to repay the loan to qualify. They are not needs-based the way federal loans are. 

Private student loan consolidation combines multiple loans into one new loan. Federal loans can be included.

Federal student loan rates are set by law. Private student loan lenders compete for your business. That's one reason some private student loans are available at lower rates than federal student loans.

If you have strong credit, you should see what rate you can get on a private student loan consolidation. If you have a willing co-signer, you can get a loan if their credit and income qualify, and yours doesn't.

Check rates with lenders that start with a soft pull of your credit report, so you don't lower your score just by shopping around.