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If you thought that student loan consolidation was already made easy enough with its promise of just one tidy bill, low monthly payments, and a stress-free debt plan, it’s time to take it one step further. On top of this easy access, student loan consolidation can now be done online with the click of a button, further eliminating any hassles or worries you might have about taking this step in your loan repayment.
The age of the internet has imprinted its learning curve on most of us, and now most users savvy enough to get to the website of their student loan lender also have what it takes to navigate the process of self-service banking and financial management. Many borrowers now manage their bank accounts online and even make regular bill payments virtually. You may buy automobiles online, apply for credit cards, book trips around the world, enroll in college, and track your grades…so why not consolidate your loans while you’re at it? The big step of student loan consolidation through the internet is only the logical next move for a web-based financial life that is simpler and easier to manage.
You have done your research and made the decision to consolidate your loans and live with smaller payments while your repayment term is extended. Now, if you would like to put this decision into action from the comfort of your own chair, begin here by familiarizing yourself with the process. Below you will find information on the three different types of student consolidation loans, all of which may be accessed online at your convenience.
Direct Federal Consolidation Loans
The federal government has come a long way in providing the type of accessible information and user-friendly products necessary for college students. The Federal Student Aid website provides all types of links and resources for related federal aid sources, including the Direct Consolidation Loan.
Borrowers interested in consolidating one or more direct federal student loans may talk directly to an account specialist or simply fill out the online application. The interest rate is fixed based on the weighted average of the federal loans you hold as of the day you apply for consolidation. That figure is then rounded up to the next 1/8th percent and the whole sum is capped at 8.25. If you’re applying for consolidation, use the handy online calculator to figure your interest rate.
Take advantage of the website’s resources and read their helpful FAQ through the Federal Direct Consolidation Loans Information Center before you complete the online application. Conveniently, you may save your application and promissory note for later review before you submit.
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)
FFELP lenders are widely available, but many no longer offer the federal consolidation loan. However, in its place lenders have beefed up information on alternative forms of debt management, such as deferment and forbearance and have added an extended repayment program that tries to mimic a few of the features of a consolidation, like smaller monthly bills and a longer term of payoff.
Get in touch with your lender to check out their offerings in terms of consolidation, and ask whether they still offer the FFELP and what incentives or equivalents they might have. These federal consolidations are not non-existent these days, but you will have to look harder for them and adjust your expectations for great deals and discounts with the ever-changing loan market.
Private Consolidation Loans
Private loan consolidation products – those used to manage multiple private, or alternative, student loans – are most commonly found among top commercial lenders. One of the most well-known, well-organized and generous private lenders in this category is Sallie Mae, known for its very popular student loans of all kinds. Sallie Mae, and many of the private student lenders, offers their online customers incentives such as low interest rates, flexible repayment options, and few origination fees.
Within the commercial realm you will find well-designed and managed online features that make it easy for you to make the decision to consolidate on their website. These lenders have a huge portion of web-based customers, many of which regularly manage their accounts via secure connections over the internet.
When you apply for consolidation online through one of these private lenders, you may receive approvals anywhere from within a few days to a few weeks. Be sure to check with your private lender to see if their online consolidation program might have any special incentives to offer you.
Manage Your Consolidation Loan Over the Long-Term
Once you’ve consolidated your federal and/or private student loans you’ll have the flexibility to manage your one streamlined package online until it’s paid off. You are free to make payments, add on further loans and keep abreast of your loan’s progress. If you ever have the need to get in touch with a real-time banker for a question or concern, you will always still have that option as well over the phone.
The added security and ease of access that this virtual management gives you is invaluable, as you now have the loan information at your fingertips instead of locked behind a lender’s desk where you wouldn’t dare to venture. Once you begin this long-term online relationship with your consolidated loan, you will be pleased to see it slowly disappearing until you reach debt freedom, both virtually and in real life.
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