Solving Student Loan Problems With Debt Consolidation

Student loans available in the US are of two types. The first is the federal student loan which is given by the government, which in US is the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Program. Another is the private student loan which is given by non-government lending institutions. The rates of interest are higher on private loans than on federal loans. Furthermore, it is much easier to consolidate federal loans than non-government private loans. Most debt consolidators would not even commit themselves to get private student loans consolidated.

Students with loans actually find themselves in bigger problems than students without loans. With a loan, the student has to make the monthly payments in addition to the various other bills. This is why many students are looking at debt consolidation as a viable method of solving their problems of indebtedness. Debt consolidation has become popular among students in various other names, such as bill consolidation, debt negotiation and debt settlement. Actually debt consolidation is a simple process of combining all the existing loans of the student into one single loan with a lower rate of interest.

When a student approaches a debt consolidator, he/she would take some money from the student and put it into an escrow account. When sufficient amount of money is built up in this account, then the consolidator would initiate talks with the creditors and request them to lower their rates of interest. Once this is done (and if it is done), the consolidator will pay off their debts from the escrow. The student will then have to pay back only to the consolidating agent.

Schools themselves come forward sometimes and suggest names of reputable debt consolidating agencies to their students. Or else, the government also helps in consolidation, provided the loans are federal loans. This is done by referring the student to a debt consolidator.

In case a student has a mixture of federal and private loans, then it is not advisable to consolidate them together. This is because the two kinds of loans will likely have different rates of interest.

Obviously, federal loans can be consolidated only after the student has come out of school. One condition is that the student must not be defaulting on payments and there is a minimum amount of loan that can be consolidated. In most states this minimum limit is $10,000. Consolidation of private loans has laxer rules, but then the expenses are higher. For those who do not want to consolidate their private loans but want to make the repayment easier, Citibank has an attractive program, which can be accessed at StudentLoan.com.

Surveys have shown that the amounts paid on student loans tend to be higher than students’ incomes in the first few years. Private institutions provide loans to students thinking that they would make a higher income as the degree of education would go higher. But this is not always the case. Hence, students are opting for debt consolidation as a way out of this circle of indebtedness.

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