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Student Loan Consolidation: Any Advice?

Cherith Cutestory

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So I've already tried the google approach, but fishing through the 800 pages and possibilities seems to be a little fruitless in comparison to just getting actually feedback from people.

I need, or would like to, consolidate my loans so I am not having to pay 6 different people every month. Also, I keep hearing these stories of people getting their loans down to 1% or 2% interest, and the best I am coming up with is 6.875.

So, if anyone recently has consolidated their loans and would be willing to share where they did it and what interest rate they were able to get their loan at, that would be really helpful. At this rate, I am going to pay enough interest to get a second degree.

Thanks

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Apr 5, 09 10:40 pm
won and done williams
consolidate through the federal government.

they will have the best rates and the best repayment plans.

Apr 5, 09 11:16 pm  · 
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Cherith Cutestory

I tried that already. They offered a 6.8 rate, which although better than the 8.5 on 2 of my loans, I was hoping for better. That, and they will only consolidate federal loans, leaving my private loan out, although it already has the lowest rate anyway.

Apr 5, 09 11:29 pm  · 
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won and done williams

wow, i'm sorry, man. i consolidated all my federal loans through them in the summer of '05 and got 2.88%. given the current fed interest rate i'm surprised you were offered 6.8%; that seems high!

Apr 5, 09 11:33 pm  · 
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Hasselhoff

The consolidation interest rate is usually a weighted average of the interest rates of your loans at the time you consolidate. So say you have $40K at 7% and $60K at 3%, then your interest rate will be 4.6%. So sometimes you don't want to consolidate everything. Like one loan may ruin the good rate of the others. I think Perkins is always 6% and Stafford is variable with a max rate of 8.5% or something. So if you toss in the Perkins while the others are super low, it raises the average. But if your Perkins is a small loan, it would have less effect and the low rates of the others would bring the rate on the Perkins down etc. I was really lucky and locked in at a low rate of 3.625%, which also had a .125% reduction for paying automatically online and then I just got a 1.25% decrease for making 20 on time payments (now I'm in economic hardship deferment!!! WOOOO). But that's how it works.

Apr 5, 09 11:47 pm  · 
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Cherith Cutestory

Well if that is the case, since all my loans are between 6.8 to 8.5, looks like I am fucked. Thanks government for encouraging higher education with "low interest rates."

Apr 6, 09 12:06 am  · 
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Cherith Cutestory

Actually I can't even get the federal government loan consolidation page to do anything beyond the front page. Ha!

Apr 6, 09 12:09 am  · 
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rates are low, but the problem is no lender wants to (or has the ability to) take on any new loans which is essentially what consolidation is. this is not just a problem with school loans, but everywhere. my sister and her family have excellent credit - 750+ score but tcan't even get a refinance on their home.

my advice is to hold out for better or partially consolidate like hasselhoff mentions.

Apr 6, 09 12:35 am  · 
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binary

dont default..... they will stick it to you really hard without any lube

Apr 6, 09 12:58 am  · 
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aking

Your problem is that any federal loan disbursed from 2006 on has a fixed 6.8% rate and you can't change it. When I consolidated my loans from 2001-2007 I got 4% for all the ones before 2006 but all the ones from 2006 on stayed at 6.8%.

I think this is something we should write congress about. When they created the 6.8% fixed rate it was supposed to be a good thing (and probably was in 2006) but in 2009 rates are so much lower.

Apr 8, 09 1:09 pm  · 
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Philbert22

Hi..!
I may not help you, but i would appreciate your idea of sharing information for the students of school is very nice, Please continue the task of sharing.Thank you

Nov 2, 09 12:20 am  · 
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prairie school drop out

I just consolidated some of my insanely large amount of debt:

I had a bunch of Stafford loans, and a stupid grad plus loan (with a rate of 8.5%) that I consolidated last month. I have to say, I'm really happy that I have some variable rate Stafford loans from before 2006! Because of their low rates, my consolidated rate ended up being 5.4ish. And because I'm being poorly paid at my current survival job, I actually qualify for the Income Based Repayment option, which is great! I will only be paying about 100/month on these. link. If I continue to qualify for this repayment plan (which I still may if I ever get an architecture job) I may only end up paying essentially the principal of my debt. Of course, for months when I can pay more, I will try to do so, so as to not extend the pain of repayment any longer than I need to.

I kept my Perkins loans separate, as they have a fixed rate of 5 % and don't actually start requiring payment until February or so. It wasn't going to lower my overall rate that much and I don't need to start paying them anyway.

I kept my citibank loans separate as well (but you can't consolidate private loans with federal anyway). These have a nice low 2.75 right now, and they aren't all that much anyway (relatively).

Nov 2, 09 3:02 pm  · 
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.._. .._ _._. _._

It doesn't fully kick in until 2013 or thereabouts but have you heard of the CCRAA that was passed into law (in the US) awhile back?

you can find a bit more out here

Nov 3, 09 8:54 pm  · 
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Cherith Cutestory

^ thanks. I had seen earlier about the income based repayment but didn't think I qualified based on salary. Not really a factor anymore since I haven't held a job now in almost 6 months. Assuming I ever find work again I'll have to consider this since I'm not expecting to ever make enough anyway.

Also glad to see you don't kicked off the program if your pay increases.

Nov 3, 09 10:44 pm  · 
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niro

this is the place i used before, i finished payment couple years ago so didn't have any clue how it works now:

http://www.aessuccess.org/manage/interest_rates_chart.shtml

not sure when your loan was taken, but it looks like it will effect different rates.

Nov 3, 09 11:44 pm  · 
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Cherith Cutestory

great. all that chart informed me is that I went to school at just the right time to get completely fucked. Everyone else who already had a lower interest rate gets a 50% rate reduction next year. Meanwhile my 6.8% stays exactly the same not to mention that more often than not these would be the people without jobs. Nice. Thanks USA.

Nov 4, 09 12:02 am  · 
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