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Can I Consolidate My Private Student Loans in Puerto Rico?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I currently have Private Student Loans: Sallie Mae and American Educational Services, for total close to 158,000

I am searching for consolidation, but neither Sallie Mae nor American Educational Services offer any. I have searched in the internet and mostly what I have found is for FEDERAL student loan consolidation.

Can you help me point what agencies, or companies out there offer Private Student loan consolidation?

Also, I live in Puerto Rico ( USA territory since 1898 and we are USA citizens, pay Social Security and Medicaid), which I think limits my options.



Dear Juan,

I don’t get many questions from the great island of Puerto Rico so thank you.

There are private student loan consolidation companies out there like SoFi, Wells Fargo, or Lendedu.

The bigger issue is if you do have any federal student loans, DO NOT consolidate them with a private student loan. It will cause you trouble latter.

Private student loans are really just loans, like any other. They offer no special repayment options really and consolidating them can give you a small break.

Typically the interest rate when consolidating is not amazingly better than what you’ve got now so the only way to lower your payment would be to extend the repayment length of time. While your monthly payment may be smaller, the total amount you will repay over the longer life of the loan, will be much higher.

When it comes to which lenders will lend to someone in Puerto Rico, you’ll have to check that out from your end. It might be best to start by searching “consolidate private student loan” on Google from Puerto Rico to see which lender appear.

If you can’t find a way to lower the private student loan payment and the lender won’t work with you, then you have to think about more radical solutions. If a lender is only willing to accept a private student loan payment that you can’t afford then you need to think about an approach where you default. See Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan.

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That strategy is not without consequences so I would always suggest trying to work out a solution that your current private student loan holder agree to before thinking of more radical options.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • Hi Steve,
    I’m at the same boat as Juan with Sallie Mae and also live at Puerto Rico. I found a job but the payment SM want me to do monthly is too high. My debt is aprox 80k and I only earn less than that amount annually but they only let me do a deferment for 12 months and now I have only 5 months left of break. It is hard to negociate with them about lower my monthly payment which frustrated me alot. I am thinking about finish my medicine, but it is hard to know I will increase my debt. I DO NOT RECOMMEND anyone to take this private student loans. It is hard to get out of this fast and easy. I’ll take a look at those links you give to Juan maybe I will found a solution in order to pay less on interest or on my monthly payment which would be a great relief for me.

    – Mayra
    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    • Mayra, I’m so sorry you are in this mess. SM offers deferments like its a good thing. The reality is if you could not afford the loan before, the payment holiday only increases the balance and makes it even less affordable. The reality is it is very tough for people to come to the realization they just can’t afford the payment and sometimes defaulting with a plan is a real option. If this is something you pursue then do it armed with knowledge and maybe think of having a consultant/friend in your corner like

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