Now Is The Time To Consolidate Your Student Loans

Time is of the essence when it comes to college student loan consolidation. Effective July 1, 2006 the federal student loan program will experience a 1.84% interest rate increase, making it one of the largest increases in the program’s history.

With the announcement of the student loan interest rate increase being less than 30 days old, students are hurrying to get the best school loan consolidation deals available. There are several companies who are in the business of consolidating student loans for recent college graduates.

Due to the student loan interest rate increase being so significant, the Department of Education is allowing student loans to be consolidated while the student is still in school. Current students will find the in-school interest rate as low as 2.5%, but is more likely to be around 4.5%. After July 1, the in-school interest rate could exceed 7%.

Although the student will be giving up their six month grace period, they will not be responsible for making payments on the consolidated school loan until after they graduate. Even though there will be no six month grace period, the student still benefits by saving hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars in interest payments on their consolidated student loans.

Likewise, if you will be taking out a student loan you will also see an increase in student loan interest rates. After July 1, 2006 Stafford loans will increase to 6.8% and PLUS loans will go to 8.5%. The interest rates on both of these types of student loans are fixed interest rates.

These are some of the benefits of consolidating your student loans:

Potential savings of hundreds of dollars in interest payments over the loan period by locking in a low, fixed interest rate
The convenience of making one monthly payment to one lender
Lower payments due to the loans being consolidated and the repayment period being extended
Most lenders will lower your interest rate after 36 months of on-time payments
No prepayment penalties
Interest paid on student loans, in most cases, is tax deductible
Overall benefit to your credit rating, due to have one loan with one lender, instead of several loans.

Even if you are not able to make the July, 1 2006 deadline, it is still to your benefit to consolidate your student loans. You will get a fixed interest rate and one payment. For me, the convenience of having only one monthly payment made college student loan consolidation worth it.

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