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Consolidation Loans

Consolidation is similar to refinancing a loan. You can consolidate all, just some, or even just one of your student loans. Consolidating federal student loans may be a good strategy to lower monthly payments or to get out of default, but it is not always a good idea.

Until July 1, 2006, interest rates on federal loans were variable, changing according to a formula every July 1. Consolidation would lock in a fixed rate based on the average rates of all the loans included, creating one loan with a single rate, and often, significant savings in interest over the life of the loan. Non-consolidation loans made after July 1, 2006 have a fixed interest rate, so consolidating newer loans may not save much in interest. You should check the interest rates on your loans, particulary if you have a subsidized loan that you took out after 2008, because rates are lower on these loans. The Department of Education has more information about consolidation loan interest rates.

Problems With Consolidation

1.If you have relatively new loans, you probably won’t save as much on interest through consolidation. This is because interest rates on federal loans made after July 1, 2006 are fixed. The interest rates for consolidation loans are calculated based on the average interest rates of the loans that you are consolidating. If you have variable rate loans from before July 1, 2006, you may be able to get very significant interest rate reductions by consolidating. The interest rate (valid through June 30, 2012) for loans first disbursed between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2006 is 2.36% for loans in repayment. You can get an even lower rate of 1.76% if you consolidate during your grace period. These low rates will be locked in for the remaining life of the loan. Federal student loan amounts and terms for 2011-12.

2. Consolidation extends repayment, often lowering monthly payments, but creating more overall costs in interest over the life of the loan, and extending your obligation further into the future. If you are close to paying off your loans, consolidation may not be worthwhile.

3. You may lose some rights by consolidating. This is most clearly a problem if you consolidate federal loans into a private consolidation loan (you would lose the rights associated with federal loans). You may also lose some options and protections if you consolidate certain federal loans, particularly Perkins loans, into other federal loan programs.

At defaultstudentloan.net we offer easy and affordable solutions to the often complex issues associated with repayment of student loans. With our wealth of experience and resources, our professional staff can assist you with canceling your Uncollectable Default Student Loan.

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