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Can I Consolidate My Private Student Loans in Puerto Rico?

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Question:

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.

Juan

Answer:

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.

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.


Big Hug!
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