VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 3/14/2010
Title: Student Loan Consolidation Rate in Federal and Private Consolidation Source: http://financeequityloans.com Category: student loans Article body: Students and their parents can use student loan consolidation that will allow them combine their education loans into one loan from a single lender. That new loan - consolidation loan - will be then used to pay off the balances of the originating loans. The process of consolidating student loans is similar to refinancing a mortgage. It's a great way to improve own finances as it gives the borrower a number of benefits, such as: lower monthly payment, lower interest rate, longer repayment schedule, lack of application fees and of credit check as well as deferment and forbearance options. Not all of those benefits are available in every consolidation loan; which of them a borrower receives depends on whether he or she takes a federal or private consolidation loan. While both federal and private consolidations provide similar results with regards to lowering monthly payments and longer repayment schedules, there are significant differences regarding the interest rates and deferment and forbearance options. In this article I will discuss the issue of the student loan consolidation rate and how it is determined in federal and private consolidation. First of all, it's important to remember that usually it is not a good idea to include any of your federal education loans if you decide to take a private student consolidation loan. Why? For two main reasons. First, doing so may increase your effective interest rate and second, you will most likely lose a number of important borrower benefits, such as: flexible repayment terms, generous loan forgiveness, deferment, forbearance and cancellation provisions. In most cases, they don't come with private student consolidation loans. Interest rate is always among the most important factors in every loan as it determines the cost the borrower pays to the lender for using the money being borrowed. The higher the interest rate, the longer the total cost of taking the loan will be. Also, getting a fixed interest rate is preferable to a variable rate, as it is just much easier to live with the fixed rate and not to worry that it may significantly go up and negatively impact your financial well being. Many people believe that all student loan consolidations - both federal and private - result in a fixed-interest rate loan. However, it's only true for the federal student loan consolidations, but in most cases the private consolidations don't feature fixed interest rates. Because the private consolidation loans belong to the consumer loans, they are credit-based and have to carry variable interest rates. To the contrary, all federal student consolidation loans carry a fixed interest rates, because they are taxpayer-supported. They are government- funded and policed by the Department of Education (ED). Some of them are also directly provided by the ED; they are called "Direct Loans". Those federal consolidation loans are based on government programs and not only the federal Direct Consolidation Loans (Direct Loans), but also the federal loans provided by private lenders under the FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program) follow the same formula for determining the fixed interest rates. That formula is simple - the fixed interest rate on a federal student consolidation loan is calculated as the weighted average of the interest rates on all loans that get consolidated. The result is then rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of a percent and capped at 8.25% (i.e. the federal loan interest rate can't be higher than 8.25%). The fixed interest rate means that it is locked in for the whole term of the consolidated loan; it makes the life of the borrower much less stressful than that of somebody that has to take a private consolidation loan. On the other hand, interest rates in most of the private consolidation loans are variable - they change during the length of the loan, according to the changes in the base. Those bases differ from loan to loan, but the lenders usually choose one of these - either the Prime Rate or the 3- month LIBOR Rate. The second one has been significantly lower over the last few years, thus it's more advantageous for the borrowers. The lenders arrive at the final interest rate by adding a margin determined by the borrower's credit rating. There are a few ways available to the borrowers to bring down the consolidation loan interest rate and they are available in both federal and private consolidations. For example, you can get a 0.25% instant rate reduction when you agree to have your monthly loan payments direct- debited from your bank account. Later on, you may also earn another interest rate reduction if you continually make on-time monthly payments for a certain number of months (e.g., 24, or 36, or 48 months). Any interest rate reduction will usually mean thousands of dollars in savings, so try as much as you can to use all opportunities to earn those reductions and save a lot of money.
"Student Loan Consolidation Rate in Federal and Private Consolidation "