College Loan Consolidation - Knowing the Limitations

by Mila Spivak - Date: 2007-03-27 - Word Count: 464 Share This!

With the average college graduate leaving university with approximately $20,000 in debt, there is no doubt that college loan consolidation is an effective financial loan option for graduates. By consolidating college loans, graduates will be able to reduce their monthly payments, gain flexibility in repayment options, reduce their numerous monthly repayments into one manageable monthly payment, in some cases reset the clock on deferments and forbearances and gain favourable interest rate discounts and rebates. However, before you decide to consolidate your college loans, you need to be aware of certain limitations and potential drawbacks. These don't necessarily mean you need to rethink consolidation all together but rather guide you through aspects you need to consider before finally taking the plunge and consolidating all your college loans into one.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you can only consolidate your college loans once. Once you have done so, you will not be able to re-consolidate your loan with another lender. The exception to this rule is when you have left some loans out from the total consolidated amount and now wish to add on more loans. In this case, it will be considered as a new consolidation and you could potentially switch to a more favourable lender.

Another point to consider is the level of discounts you could receive when consolidating college loans. The discounts in interest rates given if you set up monthly bank transfers or you always pay on time are small compared to other financial services. The lenders blame squeezed margins on their college loan consolidation products due to regulations. As such you can expect to receive a maximum of 0.25% in interest rate reductions if you set up a monthly bank transfer and around 1% in interest rate reductions if you don't miss a payment within the first 36 months of the term.

If you are married and you are now both ready to consolidate your loans, you will not be able to consolidate your partner's and your loans into one. Since July 1 2006, married graduates will not be able to consolidate their loans together due to potential difficulties if the couple decides to split.

When you have decided to consolidate your college loans, keep in mind that by consolidating you will loose all your interest benefits obtained with Perkins Loan. The good news is that if you have Stafford loans, you keep all the subsidized benefits.

Finally, in most cases, lenders can offer you college loan consolidation product only if you have $7,500 or more in college debt.

College loan consolidation is not an easy decision and should not be taken lightly. Although it has clear benefits for many graduates and their borrowing parents, you still need to consider all the limitations.

For a complete guide to college loan consolidation, visit

Related Tags: debt consolidation, student loan consolidation, college loan consolidation

Mila Spivak is a freelance writer. She has published a number of articles on healthy eating, exercise and dieting solutions including Meridia. Recently she has also started writing about college loan consolidation and money management. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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