GREady: Get Ready for Graduate School

Do you want to attend graduate school? If the answer is yes, shift the gear in drive. This blog will help you 1) stay informed about graduate programs, 2) decide on graduate schools, 3) apply for graduate schools (including the GRE and personal statements), 4) prepare for interviews, 5) find funding and lots more. Although this site cannot guarantee a masters or doctoral position, it does promise that you will be a very competitive candidate for your desired program!

Friday, June 30, 2006

What You Need To Know About Student Loan Consolidation

The student loan interest rates are expected to sky rocket from 4.75% to 7.25% on July 1, 2006. Consolidating loans before this date could mean thousands of dollars in interests; however, it is important to whether or not to consolidate and if there are any repercussions for doing so. gradPak: Guide To Graduation and Beyond lists the essentials that every recent college graduate should know.

Top 5 Things To Know About Student Loan Consolidation:

1) Make sure that your current student loan interest rates are higher than the consolidation rates. Right know you might be saying, “Duh that is obvious”, but it is worth taking note. Loan consolidation programs are able to provide you with (or should be able to) a lower interest rate by providing you with “borrower benefits.” Borrower benefits are rewards for on-time payments or electric fund transfers that allow you to reduce your interest rate potentially up to 1.25%.

2) Consolidating loans can also mean extending the payment period. This is great for those of us who have problems meeting monthly payments. By extending the payment date, you will not default on your loans and consequently will lower your monthly payments.

3) Consider the long-term costs of consolidation. Like any loan, extending the years of repayment can increase the total amount you must repay. Be sure to factor in the total prior to consolidating. However, if you decide to repay the loan off early, no penalties will be incurred and you can truly benefit from the low interest rate.

4) Check your current payoff status. If you are rounding the final lap in repaying your student loan, you may not want to consolidate your student loans.

5) Ask about the grace-period. When you consolidate your loan, the grace-period changes. You can take advantage of the fixed interest rate; however, you might have to start paying on your student loans immediately.

Other Considerations:

Student loan consolidation will take approximately 30 minutes of your time. There are no fees or credit checks, nor penalties for early repayment of your loans. Shop around for student loan consolidation providers and compare loan benefits (not all providers offer the same benefits of service). Check to see if your alumni association has a preferred provider. The alumni association has essentially done the work for you and found a program with competitive benefits and quality service. gradPak advises that it is best to go with a provider that you trust.

To Read More About Student Loan Consolidation:

“Student Loan Consolidation: an essential step in managing your first debt!” gradPak


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