I need some references on where to consolidate my student loans, does anyone have any sources that they have been pleased with?
No specific loan company recommendations, but a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Federal loans (Stafford, Perkins) cannot be consolidated with private loans. If you need to consolidate both types of loans, you will need two different consolidation loans.
2. Consolidation loans are promoted with 2 promises, both of which are (generally) true. What you don't hear much about are the downsides of consolidating – and you need to be certain that you are an educated consumer when you are considering such a loan.
Yes, a consolidation loan can "make your life easier, by requiring only a single payment!" …. I'm not sure how valuable that promise is, but it's true. If you have federal and private loans, two consolidation loans can make your life easier by requiring only two payments (!!)
And yes, it is quite possible that consolidating your loans will lower your monthly payment obligation. Just make sure that you understand why that's so.
A consolidation loan does not lower your monthly payment by decreasing the amount you owe. In fact, a consolidation loan actually lowers your monthly payment by INCREASING the amount you owe. How can that be possible? Any consolidation loan that lowers your monthly payment does so by stretching the loan repayment over a longer period of time. When you take longer to pay back a loan, more and more interest accrues, and you will pay significantly more for the privilege of slowing down your repayment.
I can't tell you how much more you will wind up paying, because it depends on how much you owe, how long you stretch the payments and what interest rates you pay, but the difference is likely to be several thousand dollars. If you owe a lot of money, you could wind up paying back tens of thousands of dollars in additional interest.
One other thing to keep in mind: A consolidation loan "tears up" your old loans and replaces them with a single, new loan. That means that all of the terms and conditions of your old loans are eliminated. The interest rates on your new loan may be higher (or contain higher "caps" on how high the interest could go), and you may lose certain borrower privileges, like the right to defer payment in the event of financial difficulties (part of the Stafford loan).
Whoever you decide to consolidate with, just make sure that you sit down with a financial professional who can show you exactly what the new loan will mean to you financially. A consolidation loan doesn't eliminate debt, it only shuffles it around. You need to be sure that you understand where the new cards are going to fall.
Good luck to you! (And of course, make sure you consolidate with a legitimate lender, and not the fly-by-nights and crooks that advertise their wares in these answers).
isn't the govt.. about to pass some law which will shrink the price of pupil loans? discover out, and see if that makes a distinction on your funds… perhaps you do not favor to consolidate…