Does consolidating student loans hurt your credit

These include deferment — the ability to suspend payments under certain circumstances such as serving active military duty, attending further education or unemployment — and forebearance, which allows borrowers to postpone payments while still accruing interest, in cases of financial hardship.

Federal loan borrowers can also lower their monthly payments by extending the life of their loan, having their payments capped according to their income and by having their debt dismissed after making 25 years of consecutive payments under the income-based repayment plan.

does consolidating student loans hurt your credit-90does consolidating student loans hurt your credit-19

Almost all types of federal loans can be consolidated.

Borrowers should have loan account numbers, estimated payoff dates and contact information for each of their loans’ holders ready.

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.

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.

Even if your rates seem high, t he Department of Education puts a cap on consolidation loan rates at 8.25 percent.

One major advantage of federal consolidation loans is that borrowers don’t need a stellar credit score to qualify, they can apply any time (even if their loan is in default) at Loan gov, and they’ll always get a fixed interest rate.

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.

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