Consolidating your student loans wisely depends on the skills you learned as a student. You will need to use the following higher education skills:
- Math – To determine if consolidating or refinancing your student loans you will need to compare the amount you will pay in principal and interest over the life of your current loan(s) and compare that with what you will pay with the new loans. Does it add up to a smart move?
- Research – Read all of the terms and conditions in the loan agreement before you eagerly sign. Legal terms in an agreement you will be bound to is far different than what a salesperson may tell you. Make sure you understand what you are agreeing to.
- Raise Your Hand – If there is anything you don’t understand before you click to agree to a new loan or sign a contract, be sure to ask all the questions you have and get answers that resolve your issues.
Consolidating Your Student Loans Can be the Smartest or Dumbest Thing You’ll Ever Do
One issue in particular that always concerns me is when people consolidate their federal student loans into a new private student loan. When you do this you will lose any of the federal program benefits you currently have.
- You will no longer have access to lower monthly payment income-drive repayment programs.
- Special programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness will no longer be available to forgive all of your federal loans if you work in public service.
- Your loans may not be eligible for forgiveness if you become disabled.
You Can Get an A+ in Smart Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing
But consolidating your private student loans can make good sense, the math may add up, and the monthly payments may be more affordable. So, like everything else that was related to school, just use the same studious qualities you utilized when doing research and writing papers to get a good grade.
If you used any private student loans for things other than the cost of attending school, you may want to speak with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. All or part of those private student loans may be eligible to be forgiven tax-free in bankruptcy. If you want to know why read this.