The cost of a private college education today can rival the cost of a home. And if you graduate from a private college with you diploma buried beneath a mountain of debt, you may be wondering just how long it will take to see any financial benefits from your four years of hard work. After your monthly private college loan payments, there may be barely enough left for the rent, utilities, food, and car payments, never mind the occasional R&R.
Benefits Of Consolidation
But paying back you r private college need not be a cause of financial stress, if you can consolidate it. Private college loan consolidation will relieve you of numerous monthly payments and can also lower your interest rates. You’ll save both time and money, because your private college loan consolidation will take all your student loans and combine them into a single one, leaving you with one monthly payment so that you can budget much more easily. But as with all loans, there are some rules regarding private college loan consolidations.
Consolidation Repayment Options
If your private college loans are courtesy of the Federal government, you will get a more favorable interest rate by arranging a consolidation either while you are enrolled in school or in the six-moth grace period immediately after you graduate. And you will be given four repayment options from which to choose.
* You may ask for a fixed monthly payment over a maximum of ten years;
* You may ask for a fixed monthly payment over an extended period, and the term you are allowed will depend on the amount of your private school loan consolidation but it can between twelve and thirty years;
* You may ask for a graduated repayment plan which will fix your monthly payment for twenty-four months and then increase them in twenty-four month increments, as your income is hopefully rising. A graduate repayment loan can be set for between twelve and thirty years;
* Finally, you may ask for an income contingent repayment plan, with a monthly payment based on the amount of your debt, your adjusted gross income, and the number of people in your family. This repayment plan can extend for twenty-five years.
You can also request a change in repayment plans as your circumstances require.
If your private school loans were federally subsidized Stafford loans, the government will make your interest payments as long as you remain in school, even if you choose to consolidate. If, on the other hand, your private school loans are Perkins loans, you can’t consolidate unless you combine them with at leas one direct of FELP loan.
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