The objective of looking for student loan consolidation programs is to make it easier for a borrower to repay college debts. However, to be able to do this, these programs have to include various elements. You can enjoy the advantages of consolidation programs for student loan only when you use these. Although it is well known that these programs can significantly improve the debt problems of recent graduates, you have to take some particular details into account.
Look at the repayment options
Based on the lender that you opt for, you can find the repayment options differing. However, the funds that are borrowed for taking these student loans may be repaid on the basis of just interest for a 4-year period. Thus, both undergraduates and graduates can get enough time to build a solid career, in order to secure proper income.
Loan limit of the programs
You have to take the loan limit of the student loan consolidation programs in consideration. The loan limit varies between graduate and undergraduate students. Loans for undergraduate students fall within the $7,500 - $100,000 limit. On the other hand, those for graduates are in the range of $7,500 - $150,000. This indicates that it might not be possible for students to consolidate all the outstanding money, although it can make a big difference in refinancing the existing debts – up to 75 – 85% of the loans.
Get a co-signer
This is an additional step that can help you optimize the benefits of consolidating your loans. By adding a cosigner, you can ensure repayments to be made every month. This will encourage the lender to significantly lower the rate of interest that he charges with the loan that is consolidated. Although refinancing current debts indicates a lowering of the interest rates, the amount of overall debt can be reduced even more when you add a reliable cosigner.
There is also the extra benefit that you can enter into some kind of agreement to have the repayments done easily within the agreed time frame, generally 12 repayments consecutively, to have your co-signer freed of his obligations without having any impact on your rate of interest.
Federal or Private
If all your loans are from private financial institutions, such as private lenders or private banks, it will be better to approach a private organization for loan consolidation purposes. Keep in mind that you have to look for a number of private lenders who offer student loan consolidations. Most of them have websites, and you need to compare at least of 5 of the private lenders to know about the one that has the lowest interest rate. Use the same parameters for comparison, such as length of the loan, repayment amounts and interest rates. Go through the fine print with care; otherwise you will only end up cheating yourself.
Keeping these factors in mind can help you to reduce, manage and clear the debt arising from private student loans – which can benefit you – the borrower – as well as the lende