Lot of student need to fund their college by themselves as the cost of education can be very expensive. There are various types of scholarships accessible for students, but not all students will meet the requirements for one. Moreover, the scholarships accessible with limited quota, there are many students don’t get it even though they meet application requirements.
For those who get a scholarship, the money may not enough to cover all costs. They may need to borrow money from other financial sources to pay for the rest of education costs. Private student loans are the common sources to meet the students’ financial needs.
Generally, private student loans have loosen terms and conditions comparing with scholarship application requirements. So, it is easier to get a private student loan than a scholarship, encouraging students who fail to get a scholarship opt for this option to get a financial aid. These loans can become financial burdens as the interest snowballs quickly if you can’t afford to pay it later. So, it is a wise decision to consolidate the private student debts into a consolidation loan to take advantage of low interest rate loan and ease of debt management by consolidating private student loans into one account.
Consolidating private student loans can be complicated for those who do it the first time, but the seven steps will guide you through the process to make it simple:
Step 1: Compile a list of all outstanding private student loans
You have to know the total amount of the student’s loans you have borrowed and the interest rate of each loan before you can searching for a right loan to consolidate the private student loans. This is to make sure the new loan that uses for consolidating private student loans works at your advantage. List down all the outstanding balances in the order from largest outstanding amount to the lowest and from the highest interest rate to the lowest rate. If you fail to get an approved loan that is sufficient to eliminate all outstanding balances, then focusing on the most expensive private student loans listed on top of the list will save the most money.
Steps 2: Review the terms of pre-payment penalties of each private student loan
Many private student loans have a term in their agreement for pre-payment penalties. Some cost very expensive, not worth to be consolidated. That’s why you need to review the terms before consolidating with them. Record down the penalties and the charges that will cost you if you settle them earlier than the terms specified in the agreements.
Steps 3: Make sure your credit report is clean
Your credit application will be reviewed against your credit rating. The credit rating will affect the interest rate, the approved amount and the chance for your application to be approved. Therefore, you need to make sure your credit status is up-to-date and no error found in your credit report. If you are planning to apply a loan and before you do so, you have to request the credit report from credit bureaus, review them to make sure no error in the reports. Don’t let an incorrect information in your credit report affects your credit score. If any error found, get it corrected immediately. During the review of your credit report, record down errors found in the report. Then, write to the credit bureau that issued the report to get the error corrected.
Steps 4: Define your purpose of consolidating the loan
You should find various options for you to consolidate the private student loans. The best option is depending on the purpose of consolidating private student loan. So, once you have defined the purposes, you will be able to get the best consolidation solution that fits your needs. If you find it hard to meet the monthly payments for the private student loans you have borrowed, then reducing the monthly payment is your goal of consolidating private student loans. So, when searching for a consolidation loan, you should focus on finding a loan with low interest rate and has repayment term that is long enough to reduce the monthly payment so that the amount is within your comfortable level. The longer the period of settling a loan, the more interest you have to pay. This is the fact of debt game that you should aware of. Or, you are looking for same saving by locking the interest rate at a fixed low rate and you own a home, then home equity loan will achieve your purpose.
Steps 5: Finalizing the consolidation loan with the most benefits
There are many loan consolidation programs available and almost all are looking good in their advertisement. Don’t finalize your decision until you have done the comparison between these offers for their advantages that will give you the most benefits. There are too many debt consolidation programs available in the market. Most of them are looking good and you may find difficulties to choose among them. To simplify the process, compare them apple to apple in term of interest rate, cost and the benefits, you will find the best one among the good offers.
Steps 6: Contact the lenders in selected list
Unless you are sure that you will get approved with one application, it is better to submit more than one loan application and select the best offer if they all get approved. Next, contact the lenders and let them explain to you how their debt consolidation programs will benefit you. If your credit score is good enough, most lenders will try to secure you as their customer, you may negotiate with them to get some discount on interest rate and waive on some fees.
Steps 7: Sign up to accept the best consolidation
Before you accept an approved loan, you have to read the fine-print agreement. Make sure the promised rate and fees are stated in the agreement before you sign up to accept the offer. Once you have consolidated the private student loans, you just need to focus on paying the repayment for new loan, until it is paid off.