Re consolidating student loans

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Consolidating both types of loans excludes borrowers from federal protections.When eyeing consolidation options for private loans only, Mayotte says borrowers should evaluate the new loan’s hardship protections and repayment terms in addition to the interest rate.Know that you might need a higher credit score if you want the best rates without a co-signer.Federal consolidation loans come with borrower protections private lenders may not offer.“With (our student loan program), if the borrower makes 12 months of on-time principal and interest payments, they can request to release the co-signer,” he says.“That creates tremendous flexibility, especially for families applying for loans for multiple kids.” Students consolidating federal loans can do so through the Department of Education’s website at Loan gov, by phone at (800) 557-7392 or by downloading a paper application at Loan gov/borrower/and mailing it in.

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Regardless of whether consolidating federal or private loans, there is a catch.While loan consolidation can sometimes dramatically lower a borrower’s monthly payments, Kevin Walker, co-founder of the college finance site Simple Tuition.com, says it can also cost you.“The downside of getting a lower monthly payment is that you’re going to subject yourself to substantially more interest charges over the life of the loan,” he says.Those seeking consolidation should also review their repayment options at Student gov, so they’re prepared to pick the proper repayment plan.Once the application is submitted, the federal government estimates that it takes 60 to 90 days to officially complete the consolidation process.

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