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"I've got loans (I've got loans)...in different area codes - Student Loan Consolidation

So we've accepted the fact that we have to...well it would be in our best interest to, pay back the student loans taken out during college to make all of our future career dreams come true (or not). We've figured out how many loan service providers we have, amounts owed, payment due dates, and have realized "I have 10 different loan providers I have to pay back at all different amounts and all different times of the month. I give up on being an adult today." It can definitely be overwhelming managing so many loans and in the spirit of setting ourselves up for financial success, we should explore options available to get these student loans in check. Consolidation anyone? Consolidation loans combine several student loans into one bigger loan from a single lender, which is then used to pay off the balances on the other loans. There are programs to consolidate federal loans (check out studentloans.gov), as well as some lenders offering private loan consolidation (ex. Wells Fargo Private Consolidation Loan).

Consoli-Pros

One payment - Probably the biggest benefit of consolidating your student loans. Dealing with one bill collector is a whole lot easier than 5...10..or 15. That loan will be serviced by one lending institution and requires one monthly payment.

No min/max consolidation amount - Typically for federal loan consolidation programs, there is no minimum amount to qualify and no maximum amount that can be consolidated. Private loan consolidation programs tend to have ranges of how much they will consolidate so review the program details.

Fixed interest rate - If you have a lot of loans, you probably have a lot of different interest rates. A consolidated loan has a fixed rate for the life of the loan. It's calculated based on the average of the interest rates on all the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.

Deferment/forbearance - Since a federal consolidation loan is a new loan, it restarts the clock on deferments and forbearance for up to three years. Also, if you can’t repay a Federal Consolidation Loan because you are looking for a job, you can apply for unemployment or economic hardship deferment and delay paying for up to three years.