What is Federal Student Loan Consolidation and its Pros and Cons?
It is important to understand the pros and cons of federal student loan consolidation before selecting this option. Federal student loan consolidation involves combining several federal loans into one. Resulting from the payment of a monthly amount and the date the payment is due. With fewer debts to track, this reduces the risk of missing a payment. Debt consolidation also has some downsides.
What is Federal Student Loan Consolidation?
Federal student loan consolidation refers to the process of combining two or more federal student loans into one. It’s basically a way to make payments easier.
You can apply for and receive federal student loans each semester that you are in college. The interest rate, payment amount, and maturity date are different for each loan. In addition, each loan may be serviced and serviced by a different federal loan provider. By the time you graduate, you may end up with several federal student loans to manage.
Keeping track of multiple payments and creditors each month can be stressful. If a payment is missed, the lender adds late payment fees and interest. Not only will this increase the cost of the loan, but it will also damage your credit score. This is where stability can help.
When you consolidate federal student loans, you have one lender to take care of the debt until it is paid off. It’s simple and straightforward.
How and When consolidate federal student loans
You can consolidate your student loans after graduation. During the grace period (up to 6 months after graduation date) or while repaying loans (after the 6-month grace period).
To apply for federal student loan consolidation, log into your FSA account at StudentAid.gov and complete the application form. Most federal student loans can be directly consolidated with a consolidation loan. This includes subsidized, unsubsidized, and ancillary loans.
Direct consolidation loans have a fixed rate of interest, which remains the same throughout the entire loan term. The interest rate on a new loan is calculated as a weighted average of all loans.
Once your consolidation loan is processed, you’ll have one loan, one monthly payment, and one maturity date. You may also deal with only one loan service provider.
Benefits of federal student loan consolidation
Consolidating multiple federal student loans into one provides these benefits:
Simplifies loan payments and reduces the risk of default and default – consolidating multiple loans into one. Makes managing payments and due dates easy. Not only is one payment less stressful, but it also reduces the chances of other payments being missed. Late payments can be costly in terms of late payment fees and interest on the outstanding balance.
Makes monthly payments affordable – 10, 15, 20 or 30 year payment terms are offered Choose the plan that best suits your financial needs. Choosing a longer term stability carry will result in lower monthly payments.
Provides access to income-based payment plans – set payments as a percentage of your monthly income with income-based payment (IDR). Not all federal loans qualify for IDR plans. Perkins loans are one type of federal loan that is not eligible for IDR. In this case consolidating Perkins loans with a direct consolidation loan allows you to work around this limitation. This can be very useful if you need to lower the payments on your Perkins loans.
Provides access to additional deferral and forbearance options Direct Consolidation Loan is a new loan. As a new loan, it resets the deferral clock and forbears for 3 years. If you are unemployed and looking for a job and cannot make your federal loan consolidation payments, you may be eligible to apply for an unemployment or hardship deferral. This will delay payments for up to three years, giving you time to build up your finances.
No Maximum or Minimum Consolidation Restrictions – The federal government has not set minimum or maximum restrictions to qualify for consolidation. No matter how much or how little federal student loan debt you have.
Disadvantages of Federal Student Loan Consolidation
Here are some of the disadvantages of federal student loan consolidation that you should keep in mind:
Potentially earn higher interest over a longer loan term – Most students choose to consolidate their loans to lower their monthly payments and make it more affordable. However, doing so increases the term of the loan. If you choose this option, you should know that while it will make the payments more affordable in the moment, you will eventually pay more in interest. This is due to the accumulation of interest in the long run.
Keeps you in debt longer – Lowering your monthly payments increases the term of the loan and keeps you in debt for longer. This can make it more difficult or impossible for you to obtain a mortgage or car loan. It can also hinder other opportunities such as investing in a business. The sooner you pay off your debts, the more money you will save and the sooner you will achieve your dreams.
Resetting the Clock on Payments toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness If you are seeking forgiveness from a public service loan and have already made some payments towards it, consolidating your debt resets the clock. This means that you will lose credit for the payments you have made so far. Could you.
Eliminates Certain Borrower Benefits When you consolidate your loans, you may lose some of the borrower benefits associated with your existing loan. Such as principal waiver, interest rate waiver, and some loan cancellation benefits.
Clear Any Remaining Grace Period Student loan borrowers get a grace period of six months after graduation before they can start paying their loans. If you collected your federal loans during this grace period, you will forfeit any remaining grace period and must begin making payments approximately two months after the debt consolidation has been processed.
Eliminates Individual Borrower Advantages – When you consolidate federal student loans, you are tasked with a loan servicer to manage your loan. Lower interest rates or principal discounts on principal loans will no longer be valid with the Consolidation Loan. You will only have access to the benefits and privileges offered by the new loan provider.
Offers an approximate interest rate – The direct consolidation loan rate is calculated as the weighted average interest rate plus one-eighth of a percent. If the larger loan amount has a higher interest rate, the weighted average will be higher than the simple average. You will pay a higher interest rate on the consolidated loan.
Should you consolidate your federal student loans?
A federal student loan consolidation is a good idea if you are struggling with multiple payments or need to reduce them. However, if you’ve made 3 years of qualifying payments for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you may want to hold off because consolidation will reset the clock and you’ll lose three years of qualifying payments.