Writing multiple checks each month just to pay your student loans can get annoying. Not only does it take more time than making a single payment, but different deadlines leave open the possibility that you might forget and miss a payment. Consolidating your student loans can stop this from happening to you, and it may lower your interest rate as well.
Things You Will NeedInformation about your student loans (amount, interest rate, etc.)
Determine which student loans you want to consolidate. Most people want to consolidate all of their student loans, so they only have one payment to make each month. However if you are close to paying off a specific student loan you might not want to consolidate it.
Look at offers to consolidate your student loans. You don't have to consolidate your student loans with a company that currently owns one or more of them. Instead you can seek out consolidation offers from a variety of different companies that manage student loans including Sallie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America and Chase. By having multiple offers you'll be able to compare which one provides you with the lowest interest rate and is best for your finances.
Compare interest rates. You need to check the interest rate you'll get if you consolidate your student loans against the interest rate currently applied to each loan you have. If the interest rate on one loan is lower than what it would be if you consolidated, choose to leave that loan out when consolidating and pay it on its own. This will save you more money by charging you less interest.
Complete the paperwork to consolidate your student loans. The student loan company you choose to use for consolidation will send you the paperwork you need to complete. It consists of information about each of the student loans you want to consolidate including the lender, the interest rate on the loan and how much you owe.
Pay on time. Once you've consolidated your student loans, make your payments on time. This prevents you from paying late fees or having your interest rates go up. In addition some lenders provide an incentive to pay on time by dropping your interest rate after 24 or 36 on-time payments.Array
Tips & Warnings
Consolidating your student loans can take the hassle out of paying your monthly bills especially if you choose to have your monthly payment automatically withdrawn from your bank account. Just make sure that in the process of your student loan consolidation you don't end up paying a higher interest than you originally had.
When you consolidate student loans, your new lender purchases your student loans from your current lender. The new lender becomes the owner of the loans, and you are obligated to pay them back rather than the original company you borrowed from.
Most companies charge a fee to consolidate your student loans which is often added to the overall amount you owe.