Understanding Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates and Rules

The number of students who request financial assistance from the United States Department of Education has increased in recent years due to the rising costs associated with receiving a quality university education. The expenses of tuition, housing, books and other fees have overwhelmed many average families. To cope with the cost of higher education, many students have accepted student loans from the government. These loans are usually enough to get them through school, but soon after graduation they have to start paying them back.

Many of those students have turned to consolidation management companies to reduce some of their expenses. The cost of living is already quite high for a recent graduate, thus assistance with a long-term bill such as a school loan can be helpful. However, many students turn to consolidation loans before they understand the rules of consolidating their school loans. It is vital that borrowers understand student loan consolidation rates and rules.

The student loan consolidation interest rates a borrower would get from a private lender are far steadier than the rates a borrower initially receives from the government. This is one of the incentives that lead students into debt management with outside lenders. On government student loans, the interest rate is variable. This means the rate can change annually based on the Treasury bill. An interest rate reduction is possible with this type of loan; however, rate increases each year are far more likely. With a private student loan consolidation, the interest rate is locked, meaning it will not change throughout the entire course of loan.

An additional reason that students opt to consolidate their loans is to save money. It is said that consolidating student loans can reduce a graduate’s monthly repayment amount, by up to 60 percent. For students who may be doing internships or working entry-level positions, this could offer some major debt relief.

There are a number of lenders who offer loan consolidations, thus it is advisable that a borrower shop around for the best deal. While the actual student loan interest rate is roughly the same with each lender, the sign-up bonuses can vary dramatically. Compare the student loan consolidation rates and benefits offered by such common lenders as Citibank, American Education Services (AES), and American Collegiate Servicing.

Lender competition often results in great deals for the consumer. One of the most common deals a lender will give a new applicant is the promise of a lower interest rate. There are two common ways this can occur. The first is that the lender will offer a lower student loan consolidation interest rate if the borrower pays their bill on time for the first six months. A normal decrease for this type of a bonus is point 25 percent.

The other way that lenders offer a reduction in interest rate is if the borrower will sign up for automatic deductions from a bank account. Many lenders have discovered that automatic check debiting results in fewer late payments. The money is deducted instantly. As long as the needed funds are in the account, this ends up being very convenient for both the borrower and the lender.

One important thing to keep in mind is that a lower monthly payment may mean paying on the initial loan for a longer period of time. Because the loan continues to accrue interest the whole time, the borrower could end up paying more on the initial loan amount than they would have with a larger monthly payment. This is one of the few possible drawbacks to student loan consolidation interest rates. Debt relief now could result in more debt in the long run.

With student loan consolidation interest rates being as low as they are, the length of the repayment schedule can be quite long. A loan amount of $20,000 might take as long as 15 years to pay off. Therefore, stretching the repayment schedule to the maximum is not the best idea if it can be avoided.

However, a lower monthly payment does not have to be regarded as a disadvantage. Should the borrower have extra money at any time, they can always pay some of it on their loan. In fact, this is a very good debt management technique. There is no fee for paying more than the normal monthly payment. Paying an additional $50 per month could save a borrower thousands of dollars in the long run.

Overall, a student loan consolidation can be very beneficial to a new graduate. Only having to make one payment per month can simplify things a great deal, and a fixed interest rate makes planning a monthly budget a lot easier. These loans are super easy to qualify for as well. Most lenders do not charge an application fee and there is no credit check, so bad credit will not be an issue. Additionally, lenders offer several different repayment plans so settling on one should e easy. College was hard enough–paying off student a loan doesn’t have to be.