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Private vs Federal vs Grants for College

Private vs Federal vs Grants for College

With the cost of tuition continuing to rise, knowing the financial help available to students has become crucial to successful education. There are different types of loans and grants that college students can take advantage of, and understanding the difference between each of them will help students get the most out of them, lowering their financial strain.


For starters, there are two types of loans: private loans and federal loans. Private loans are loans funded by lenders such as banks and credit unions. Federal loans, on the other hand, are funded by the federal government.

Private Loans

When it comes to private loans, the lenders (which can be, but aren’t limited to banks, credit unions, and colleges) are the ones who set all the conditions and the interest rates. Because of this, these type of student loans are known to have variable interest rates, which, depending on the student’s credit score and history, can often be over 18%. Furthermore, payments on many private student loans begin right away, instead of waiting until after graduation, usually with no deferment options available.

There are, however, some benefits to private student loans, which include the possibility of having a cosigner. Adding a cosigner to the loan will often maximize the chances of getting approved – with a lower interest rate. Also, private student loans are available to students, regardless of whether or not they submitted their FAFSA; they are independent of each other. In fact, private student loans can often cover the entire cost of attendance, and if they don’t, they can be used in conjunction with the rest of the financial aid received to cover any gaps.

Federal Loans

Federal student loans are known to have more benefits than private student loans do. One of the main benefits is that federal loans have a fixed interest rate set by congress, which in most cases is lower than the interest rates offered by private lenders. Not only that, but if students qualify for a subsidized loan, then the government will pay the interest rate that builds up while the student is in school. Additionally, the interest that the student does end up paying on their federal student loans is usually tax deductible.

Another benefit of federal student loans is their repayment policies. Unlike with many private loans, students don’t have to start repaying federal loans until AFTER they’ve graduated. Furthermore, if the student graduates and is having a hard time repaying his or her federal loans, there are resources to help them. These options include lowering the monthly payments or postponing them for some time, as well as partial loan forgiveness.

To qualify for a federal loan students must submit their FAFSA. The loans are based on the demonstrated financial need instead of the student’s credit score and history. However, because there is a limit on how much money the federal government can loan each student, federal student loans usually can’t cover all college expenses; reason why they must be combined with other forms of financial aid – including private loans and grants.


Grants are basically free money because they don’t have to be repaid. There are two kinds of grants: need-based grants, and grants-for-service, which are awarded for a specific purpose. Need-based grants are awarded to students based on their FAFSA, and grants-for-service are awarded on the condition that the student agrees to predetermined terms, usually meant to address issues in specific fields.

Grants can be awarded by the federal government, by the states, and private organizations. There are three federal grants: the Federal Pell Grant, awarded since 1972, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, awarded on a first come first serve basis to students with great financial need, and the Federal TEACH Grant, an award-for-service grant for students agreeing to teach in certain fields after graduation. State grants, usually aimed at helping low-income students, women, and minorities, differ from one state to another, but like with the federal grants, there are need-based, as well as award-for-service grants. Private grants, on the other hand, are usually awarded by companies and organizations to students pursuing specific degrees and meeting specific requirements.

10 Ways Students Can Build Good Credit

10 Ways Students Can Build Good Credit

For a young person, the ability to build good credit, and use it wisely simplifies his or her transition to adulthood. The economy is pretty much based on one’s ability to borrow money to not only survive but also pursue financial growth and independence. A person’s credit worthiness is determined by his credit score and it is the key to one’s financial life. It is the single most important detail that lenders use to either approve or reject a credit request. As such, students need to equip themselves fully in preparation to conquer the world after graduation.

This article highlights top 10 tips on how students can establish good credit.

1. Use credit wisely

Understanding how credit utilization works, as well as how to make it work to your advantage significantly helps in building good credit. Credit utilization is the percentage of the amount of the credit used within a given billing cycle in relation to the available limit. If your credit utilization is higher than the acceptable limit, it sends signals to credit agencies that you are biting more than you can chew as far as debt is concerned. This can negatively impact your credit score in which case you would need to repair it. The catch is to make sure that your credit utilization is lower than the acceptable percentage. The rule of thumb: Never spend more than 30 percent of your credit limit.

2. Make payments more than once in a month

Instead of relying on a single monthly payment, try and pay your debt every two weeks. Besides building a good name for yourself, this approach lowers your credit utilization which ultimately enhances your credit score. Also, making early payments reduces the interest you would otherwise have to pay.

3. Maintain less credit card accounts

As a student, it makes no sense to have more than three credit card accounts. Resist the urge to open new department store charge accounts. Apart from the fact that you can only use the credit card in the retail store of issue, such cards tend to attract the highest interest rates compared to other credit cards.

4. Maintain old credit cards

As you resist the drive to open new credit accounts, exercise caution when considering to close old ones, since a bad move can work against your credit score. Many factors go into the calculation of your credit score, and this includes how long you have had a credit account. The ability to have in place the longest possible credit history is highly beneficial. It provides proof that you have the stamina to maintain credit accounts responsibly for a long time.

5. Accurate records

Do not downplay the importance of maintaining an accurate record of all your credit accounts. This entails keeping copies of all the documents associated with your credit accounts. From the application documents to the terms and conditions of the accounts, disbursement and disclosure papers and creditor correspondence, all these documents should be stored safely. You never know when you are going to need them.

6. Let your creditors know as soon as your address changes

A series of lost or missed bills can harm your credit report substantially. For this reason, remember to notify your creditors as soon as you change residences. A black mark on your credit report can remain for up to seven years, an element that lowers your credit score tremendously. Students should take advantage of the availability of computers to facilitate electronic billing and payment to avoid lost bills.

7. Prompt payments of bills

Always aspire to settle your credit card bills in a timely manner. Prompt payments help students, and other borrowers to build an excellent credit history. On the other hand, delayed or defaulted payments are extremely costly. The lender faces stiff penalties, besides having to deal with the pain of higher annual percentage rate. A single late payment is enough to leave a dent on your credit score.

8. Live below your means

Students should learn the value of living below their means. Stretch your dollars and accept that being thrifty does not hurt.

9. Always journal your credit purchases

Monitoring your charges keeps you on-the-know about the exact amount you must repay.

10. Get a copy of your credit report

Whether you are building up a credit report from scratch, or you are correcting a past mistake, it is good to evaluate your credit report every once in a while. It keeps you in check of your outstanding debt and also gives you the opportunity to identify and report any errors that needs correction.

Building a good credit score is no mean feat, especially for students. The process demands a lot of discipline, commitment, persistence, and one’s ability to overcome peer influence. In the end, you will look back, smile and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Structured Settlement Annuities For Minors

Structured Settlement Annuities For Minors

What Is An Annuity?

According to the SEC, if you were to go tomorrow to an insurance firm and sign an investment contract with them, you’d be buying an annuity. An annuity, which is very similar to a certificate of deposit (CD), is a contract, where you give an insurance firm a large sum of money only to have said sum accumulate interest, which could be variable or fixed, over time. Afterwards, you can collect the deposited money plus the interest in numerous ways. For example, you could take the money as one large paycheck, or you could receive periodic payments that can act as income.

Annuities are classified according to how the money grows inside of them. There are three main types: fixed, variable, and indexed.

What is a structured settlement annuity?

A structured settlement is where the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff fixed sums of money over a period of time instead of one large lump sum. Sound familiar? Courts tend to recommend this arrangement, particularly when a minor is involved.

Due to their flexibility, Annuities serve as an excellent conduit for structured settlements. In the case of a structured settlement annuity, the defendant purchases an annuity in the name of the plaintiff from the plaintiff’s insurance firm. Afterwards, the insurance firm starts paying the plaintiff according to the agreed upon terms.

An excellent infographic that summarizes the entire process can be found here.

Why resort to structured settlement annuities?

Structured settlement annuities offer several benefits:

  • The structured settlement annuity is tax-free. Moreover, any growth inside the annuity is tax deferred.
  • A structure settlement annuity requires no maintenance fees.
  • Most annuities can keep growing, irrespective of the market, which is an important hedge against risk for dependents on this annuity. Furthermore, an annuity can be designed so that it grows when the market is growing but doesn’t shrink when the market is tumbling.
  • An annuity’s payment structure can be tweaked as desired. Although the annuity will pay fixed sums of money over a period of time, the payments can increase in size so as to coincide with inflation or important life mile stones, such as purchasing a car.

Why are structured settlement annuities perfect for minors?

Whenever minors are involved in a legal proceeding, the court tries to take into account the long- term stability of said minors. Consequently, a court has to ensure that a minor has enough reserve money for both necessary long-term needs, like food, lodging, and so on, as well as any medical necessities. This requires some financial planning. Structured settlement annuities are a perfect vehicle for that.

Benefits of a structured settlement annuity for minors:

  1. With a structured settlement annuity, the court controls what the money is used for till the minor comes of age. This arrangement is to protect minors from dishonest or fiscally irresponsible guardians.
  2. Thanks to the court’s involvement in how the money is spent, the minor is assured of receiving a sizeable sum of money upon reaching adulthood.
  3. The money will grow regardless of what happens in the market.
  4. The minor is protected from himself/ herself; the minor is unable to spend all the money at once.
  5. All this financial planning guarantees that the money will offer a safety net for the minor until he/ she is able to fend off for themselves.
  6. A settlement plan that makes use of the flexibility of annuities can aid the minor in the critical junctures of his/ her life later down the road, which could include going to college, buying a house, or starting a family.`

For further resources, feel free to check out and .

Should College Students Lease or Buy a Car?

Should College Students Lease or Buy a Car?

College opens up a wide variety of experiences for you. Situations that you never dreamed possible come into fruition, and you find yourself with greater independence than you ever had. One of the decisions that you must make involves the attainment of a vehicle. Whether you are commuting to school or residing on the campus, you may need a car for a variety of purposes. Now that you know you need a car, you must decide if you want to buy it or lease it.

Consider Your Future Plans

When you are debating between buying or leasing a car, you should take into account your future plans. For example, even if you attend graduate school at the same institution, you will likely be in a different place or at a different point in your live within the next few years. Therefore, your need for the type of vehicle you want now may decline. In that case, a lease is the better decision. Lease agreements can last for varying amounts of time, but three years is a popular period. At the end of that period, you can return the car to the dealership and obtain a new one.

Factor in How Much You Drive

Leasing a car generally means that you have a limit on the amount of miles you can drive per year. You can often negotiate on that element, but you then may end up with a higher monthly payment; lower monthly costs are often why students choose leases in the first place. Therefore, you must take into account how frequently you drive and how long those trips are. Some students commute to a school that is just a few minutes away, so a lease makes sense. However, if you are frequently making trips across multiple states to go between home and school or if you are commuting to a school and to a job that are a distance from your home, buying the vehicle might make more financial sense.

Your Financial Circumstances

In college, your financial situation is often somewhat unstable. You may rely solely on money from your parents, or you might have a seasonal or part-time job. Furthermore, you could be nearing graduation and knowing that you want to save money for an apartment. When you do not have a great deal of money to spare, a lease is often the better answer. Leases tend to be less money per month than finances. Furthermore, you generally need a significantly lower amount of money for a down payment on a lease than on a finance; you might get a lease with no down payment at all. On the other hand, you might have saved money for a long time now. When that is the case and you know you want to keep your car for awhile, look into a finance.

Your financial situation is also going to play a major role in the time of opportunity for which you can receive an approval. If you have low credit scores or if you have no credit history, you may have a difficult time getting a good price at the dealership for either a lease or a finance. Therefore, you may need to have someone co-sign on the loan with you. As a result, that person’s financial situation will play a role in which type of opportunity you qualify for.


Having a car is a major responsibility whether you decide to lease it, finance it or buy it outright. However, when you decide to lease the car, it is akin to renting an apartment in several areas. You will return the car to the dealership at the end of the lease agreement unless you decide to purchase the vehicle at that point. If you are known for having a car that looks quite lived-in, then you either need to brush up on your cleaning skills or consider an agreement that does not require you to return the car after a certain period of time.

Whether or not to buy or lease a car is a question that many people have before they head to the dealership. As a college student, you should take the particulars of your current situation into account.

Should a College Student or Recent Grad Buy a House?

Should a College Student or Recent Grad Buy a House?

It can be tempting to get away from your parent’s house and live on your own when you turn 18. If you’re a college student or recent grad, this new feeling of independence can change your life, enticing you to purchase a home so that you can begin living alone. Unfortunately, an estimated one million people enter into foreclosure every year. This staggering number is an all-too common occurrence for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage. As a college student or recent graduate, you need a certain level of security and responsibility before entering into any type of home contract.

Can You Afford a Down Payment?

Experts recommend that a 20 percent down payment be put onto a new home during the closing process. Down payments are specifically designed to help lower the cost of the home, thus reducing the amount you’d pay each month to stay there. If you’re looking to buy a home that costs $200,000, that means you’ll have to put down about $40,000 to make a reasonable down payment. If you put down less than 20 percent for your down payment, mortgage payments will increase substantially. This is when the financial difficulties to own your home might start and mortgage payments go unpaid.

Are You Good with Budgeting?

Being a homeowner is a huge responsibility that requires a knack for budgeting and timely bill pay. College students often find it difficult to keep to their studies, let alone keep themselves on a specified budget. Remember that if you’re currently in college, your student loans will be an added cost to you once you graduate. Understand that these loan payments need to be paid along with your new mortgage, if you should buy a home.

Do You Have Good Credit?

A poor credit score will increase the interest rate attached to your mortgage. A bad score is anything below 619. Even average or decent credit scores, anything within the 620 and 679 range, can increase the amount you’d pay in interest, hiking up your mortgage payments each month. You need to become savvy with interest rates, credit scores and mortgage companies to get the best deal on a home loan. A reasonable interest rate is anything that falls in the 4.000 percent range. Anything higher than this and most of your bill payments will be going to pay interest. It’ll feel like you will never have your home paid off because the amount rarely goes down.

Can You Care for a Home?

Apart from the mortgage process and bills, being a homeowner requires a bit of knowledge and skill. Sure, you can call in a plumber whenever you experience a minor problem, but this can become costly over time. It’s important to have a reasonable understanding of how to care for a home so that you can avoid hefty contractor fees. Have a home inspector examine and assess the house before you choose to purchase it. They can tell you if there are any structural or infestation problems with the property, giving you headway on how much work will need to be put into repairing it.

Will Someone Be Co-Signing?

Having an extra person on the mortgage could mean the difference between being approved by the bank and not getting the home that you want. Parents will often co-sign homes with their children for a myriad of reasons, and these might include: allowing their child to be approved for a mortgage, having someone else on the deed in case the home enters into foreclosure or preventing the home from being taken if property taxes are not paid.

The Hard Truth

The vast majority of experts will agree that it is just not financially sound or responsible for a college student or recent graduate to buy a home until they are well-established. Unless you have a stable career that pays well, you are going to find paying for a home to be difficult or even impossible at times. Student loans, mounting debt and car payments are often enough to keep students’ wallets empty. Unless you are well-off, have a lot of money in the bank and have a great career that offers a good salary, you are better off staying with your parents until the time is right to purchase the home of your dreams.

Don’t Fall for Student Loan Scams

Don’t Fall for Student Loan Scams

Student loans are a common form of debt in US. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, an average student graduates with a $26,000 debt from federal and private loans. This is a big problem for many students. The burden may become too much because you have to pay all the money while still trying to settle down.

An increase in fraud cases associated with student loans’ repayment

Due to the financial burdens that fresh graduates may face immediately after college, fraudsters have identified an opportunity to scam them. They know how hectic it can be to pay off a student loan. They also understand that people like to take the easy way out. Many of them will come to you at that desperate time and offer to help you with your student loan.

It usually starts with a simple call or email. They often offer to alleviate your student loan at a small fee. They are ingenious. They even produce information on how they have worked with other students to clear their loans to get you to trust them. Unfortunately, when you fall for this trick, they take your money and disappear.

Other cases of fraud include getting calls from them telling you that you owe thousands in student loans. If you don’t follow the case through you might end up paying something you don’t owe. This cases may include threats of arrests, lawsuits or even being given a bad credit score if you don’t pay the alleged student loan before a particular time.

How to know that you are about to be scammed

The company will ask you to pay an upfront fee. This is a major red flag to look out for. Legit loan payment programs don’t ask for money until the services have been delivered. Asking for an upfront fee for this service is illegal in many states. The service is usually free at for all federal student loan borrowers. You can enroll in this program at any time for free.

The website does not have a .gov extension on its address. Scammers are brilliant, and they know how to trick you completely. They give their websites very official names that you cannot suspect. However, you should be careful even with some .gov sites. If you have any bad feeling always take the time to research about the organization. Ask for help from legit agencies like

Unrealistic promises: A company may guarantee you that your debt will be taken care of immediately. When it sounds too good, think again. Ask yourself questions. How can they do that so fast or why are they so nice to you? They want to get your attention. The truth is nobody knows if you can be forgiven of your loan until they analyze your situation. Any company offering a guarantee is probably a fraud.

Pressuring you to pay: If the company comes to you with threats to get you to pay the loan that is a sign you are being scammed. If they keep rushing you to make a quick decision, it’s because they don’t want to give you time to think about it.

Additionally, never give out your personal information to anyone unless you are sure about their legitimacy. This includes your credit card information, your social security number and any other information that can be used against you in the wrong hands.

Don’t rush to make a quick decision or take the easy way out. Sometimes, people are misled by this scammers due to their desperate situation. Don’t be quick to answer them before you do a thorough research about them.

Just a reminder; don’t become a victim just because;

  • a company claims to be related to the Department of Education,
  • a company promises immediate forgiveness of your loan,
  • a company offers to buy out your loan and settle it for a fee,
  • a company tells you that your school was closed so your debt can be forgiven.

These are all signs of fraudulent companies.

If you still have questions about your student loan, kindly visit to get more information on how to deal with your loan. Don’t forget to do a thorough research before you sign up for any loan repayment program.

Should You Buy a House When You Have Student Loan Debt? Factors to Consider

Should You Buy a House When You Have Student Loan Debt? Factors to Consider

One of the most exciting things about becoming a college graduate is entering the real world. Grads get to apply for the job they’ve worked so hard to obtain an education for, and they get to start their adult lives. Much of this involves finding a home and becoming a homeowner. It’s the American dream, after all. The problem is most college grads leave college approximately $35,000 in student loan debt. The national student loan debt average is astounding, and it’s not getting any better. In fact, many students live with far more debt than this, and many of them face financial struggles even with a degree and a good paycheck. It leaves grads wondering if buying a home with student loan debt to their name is the best solution. Is it the right time to buy a house?

Consider the Implications

There is no right or wrong answer for graduates looking for advice on this topic. Should you make it your goal to buy a home with student loan debt? It depends on your personal situation. Are you able to pay for a house and your debt at the same time without putting yourself into financial trouble? Are you comfortable with it? Is it something you can afford? There are factors you must consider for yourself that no one else can help you with. The best anyone can do is provide you with the facts and considerations needed to make a decision of this magnitude.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Perhaps the biggest factor in deciding whether or not a home is affordable is your debt-to-income ratio. This plays a large factor in determining the type of mortgage you are offered and the home you can afford. If you owe a lot and don’t want to settle on a smaller home with an expensive mortgage, you might wait to buy a home. By paying off your loans as quickly as possible, you open up your finances to a larger home, a smaller interest rate, and more possibilities. It’s a personal decision.

Do You Have A Down Payment?

Another factor is what you can afford to put down. You can buy more house and have a smaller mortgage when you put down at least 20% of the home’s value, but not everyone can afford to do that. It’s not exactly easy to save for a home when you’re paying student loan debt, so you might consider an alternative mortgage option.

These are backed by the federal government, and they offer assistance to those who want to buy a home without making a down payment. There are even options for those who can make only a small down payment. It’s up to you what you are able to afford, and it’s something you might consider your own personal decision. Not utilizing the benefits of a down payment means you’ll finance more than 80% of the value of your home. That requires Private Mortgage Insurance. It’s expensive, and it’s a payment that goes right into your mortgage payment. It’s not cheap, which means you’re once again limited to what you can buy.

Pay Off Debts

The best choice for most college grads is to pay off some of that debt first. Make it your priority to pay off your student loans as much as possible, and then focus on buying a home. Can you live with you parents for a year or two while you pay off those loans? It’s something you might not want to do, but it’s going to pay off in the long run. Try it out and see if it works. The less debt you have, the more options open up to you when it’s time to buy your home.

Buying a home is a commitment that’s not inexpensive. Be sure you are in a financial place where you can afford to pay for it, to afford it, and to keep it. Don’t rush buying a home simply because it’s the next step after college graduation. Take your time and do what’s right for you and your financial situation. It’s what works for you rather than what works for everyone else who graduates with student loan debt.

10 Steps Every Student Should Take to Prepare for Graduation

10 Steps Every Student Should Take to Prepare for Graduation

A lot of students look forward to graduating. That is, until they see their student loan bills a decade later. We have collected 10 steps that will make your graduation much more enjoyable.

  1. Go or Finish at a Second Tier School – Just because all your friends are going to Princeton or Harvard does not mean that you need to. The University of Arizona, Michigan, or Colorado will give you quality education on a much lower budget. Avoid finishing your degree at a prestigious school that will give you a prestigious student debt decades later. The only reason you might consider getting an education at a high ranking school is if you are pursuing a serious career in government or sciences that will pay you very high.
  1. Do Not Procrastinate – Many students see college as a time to relax, party, and occasionally attend classes. If this is your attitude, stop it now. You are not going to be successful in life if you are careless in school. It is better to quit school and get a real job, than to waste your time and tuition money on something you are not really doing. There is a huge glut of incompetent students at many schools of America. They would be far better off financially growing up after high school and entering the workforce.
  1. Try to Begin Paying Off Debt – Get a part time job. Some schools have jobs in the library, cafeteria, or student program office. There are also jobs in the shops and businesses around the campus. Any money you make now is money you will not be paying back later. Set a budget for yourself. Do not buy beer and pizza on your credit card. Stay healthy, and it will improve your grades.
  1. Take Challenging Classes – Because of the high cost of tuition in U.S. schools, college really only makes sense financially if you are going for a highly demanded major. Highly demanded majors are tough, and they are often ignored, despite their lucrative rewards to the graduate. Undergraduate majors in arts, humanities, religion, or social work really do not pay that well. They are an expensive waste of time. Go for degrees that actually pay well, or just do not go to college. Get a real job. Highly paid majors that you should be taking classes are in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Education, economics, business, and linguistics are moderately paid majors that are not as hard.
  1. Get in a Healthy Long Term Relationship – A lot of people meet their future spouse in college. Sadly, they often previously engaged in risky dating and illicit activities. These things can haunt you after graduation and keep you from becoming effective as an individual. Find someone of the opposite gender that you feel comfortable with being in partnership for life. They will add immensely to your mental stability and health.
  1. Have Some Type of Religion – A lot of students these days scoff at religion. They view themselves as above any spiritual accountability. This is why grades and behavior in American schools are plummeting. Lack of higher authority leads to lack of discipline. Have a spiritual advisor and campus group that you are meeting with. They will give you moral support and encouragement. No person is an island. Sometimes the people you meet in a campus religious group lead to future job or relational opportunities.
  1. Prioritize – Do your hard class homework first. Prioritization means you are working when your friends are partying. You get to party when they are cramming at the end of the quarter. Study hard, and you will be glad in the end. Many instructors are happy to meet with students who want help. Most students simply do not. Be the student who prioritizes learning from your professors in class and out of it.
  1. Begin Saving – You will want some money for your life after college. Begin saving up for that now.
  1. Help Others – Do not be selfish. There are probably other students who could use your help. Volunteer and help them out.
  1. Learn from Past Mistakes – Take some time to contemplate and plan each day. Doing so can help you avoid tragic errors.
How to Refinance and Consolidate Your Student Loans

How to Refinance and Consolidate Your Student Loans

Many college students fund at least a portion of their college education through student loans, and because of this, many students graduate owing tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. In many cases, students have a different loan for each semester they attended college. Debt management with eight or more different loans to pay for each month can be monstrously difficult and time-consuming. More than that, it may actually be costlier than if you consolidate student loans through refinancing. Refinancing may also allow you to lock in a lower rate for all of your loans, which can lead to faster debt reduction over time. If you are dealing with several loan payments each month, it makes sense to explore refinancing as an option.

Review Your Current Loan Terms

The first step to take when refinancing your student loans is to review each of your current loan terms. It can take time to gather all of this information if you have many loans or if your loans are with different lenders. In some cases, the information is printed on your monthly billing statement, and in other cases, you will need to call the lender to obtain the information. List your interest rate, loan term, outstanding balance and minimum monthly payment on a sheet of paper. This information will prove to be valuable later when you compare refinance loan options available.

Seek a Refinance Loan Through Your Current Lender

Many lenders who issue student loans have refinancing information on their website, and this makes it convenient to learn more about your lending options. However, with some lenders, you will be required to call to get a refinance loan quote. Then, use an online refinance calculator, such as the one provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This will help you to more easily learn how much money you can save by refinancing with your current lender.

Compare Your Quote Against Other Lenders

It may also be helpful to obtain other quotes from different lenders, and you can continue to use the online refinance calculators to analyze each quote you receive. Community banks typically offer great loan terms on student loan refinances. The community banks who do not offer student loan refinance programs may have resources that you can use to refinance more successfully. Another program to consider is the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan program. This program is specifically designed to help you make paying your student loans easier. The program sets up monthly payments that gradually increase over time, and this is because your income level may gradually increase as you can real-world work experience in your career.

Work With Your Lender to Satisfy All Refinance Requirements

After you have compared all of the lending options and you have used online calculators to analyze the pros and cons of each option, you can more easily decide which refinance loan program to use. The lender you choose to work with will walk you through the loan process. Typically, you will need to complete a loan application, and your current employment status and income may be verified. Your lender may have other requirements you need to meet as well before being approved for your loan.

Verify That the Loans Have Been Paid Off

Your lender will typically handle all aspects of paying off your current loans with your new loan proceeds. However, mishaps can happen, and this may be particularly true if you have multiple loans that need to be paid off. A smart idea is to confirm that each of your loans has been paid off. You can do this online or by calling the lenders directly. You may also wait for final statements to be mailed to you from each loan.

Refinancing your student loan debt is a great option that provides you with many benefits. Through refinancing, you may obtain a lower interest rate that allows more of your payment to be applied to principal debt reduction each month. You may also be able to set up a single monthly payment that is more affordable for your budget and that is easier for you to handle than multiple loan payments. Follow these steps to begin the refinancing process, and you may soon be able to enjoy these benefits yourself.

Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing Basics

Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing Basics

Many college graduates leave school with high amounts of debt. In the years following their graduation, they may struggle to pay off the money they had to borrow to get an education.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet because of your student loan, you do have some choices for getting your payments back under control. One of the most popular ways of doing that is through student loan refinancing. There is also the loan consolidation option however we’ll mostly talk about refinancing in this article.

What is Student Loan Refinancing?

Student loan refinancing is a way to adjust your loan so that your payments are lower or you have a lower interest rate. Through refinancing your student loans, you essentially take out another loan to pay off the original loan you’ve taken out. You would then make payments on the second loan.

There are a few different ways that refinancing can help you pay off your student loans more easily. First, if you’ve already paid off a sizable chunk of your student loan, the overall size of the loan will be much smaller. When extended over a few years, your monthly payment can be much smaller.

You may also want to refinance if your student loan has a high interest rate. Because interest can make it difficult to really make a dent in the amount of money you owe for student loans, you want your interest rate to be as small as possible. Refinancing could give you a lower interest rate, making it easier to pay off your debt.

Finally, refinancing may also extend the loan’s final due date. By giving you more time to pay off your loan, you can make smaller payments each month without hurting your credit score or financial standing.

Who Qualifies for Student Loan Refinancing?

Whether or not you qualify for student loan refinancing will depend on who your loans are taken from originally and who you would like to refinance through. Because student loans are either federal or private, this will influence how you need to refinance your loans.

If you have a federal student loan, then you will need to refinance your loan through the federal government or you have the option to take out a private refinance loan to pay off your government loan. In most cases, refinancing will not reduce your interest rate by much. However, refinancing through the federal government can help you secure more manageable payments each month.

For private loans, your credit score will need to be considered when you’re looking to refinance. If you do not have a strong credit score, then you may struggle to find a way to refinance your loans. Your interest rate will also be dependent on your credit score.

When working with a private bank to refinance your loans, you may be provided with more options. However, it is important to note that private loans are not protected in the same way that federal loans are. Be sure you know the differences before you decide to refinance.

Who is Refinancing Right For?

If you’re looking to save money on your student loan payments, you may want to consider refinancing your student loans. But a refinancing program is not right for everyone. If you are not struggling to make ends meet, then a refinancing program may not be right for you.

While a refinancing program can help you save money each month, it typically means you will end up spending more in the long run. Because a refinancing plan extends the amount of time you have to pay off the loan, you have a few more years where interest is able to accumulate. This means the total cost of the loan can go up.

Refinancing a loan is also beneficial for individuals who were unhappy with the provider they took their original loan from. If you’ve experienced poor customer service, refinancing is a great way to select a new bank to work with.

If you’re considering refinancing your student loan, do your research before selecting a program or bank to work with. While refinancing can be the saving grace some graduates need, it can also be a bad decision for those who didn’t really need it.

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