The decision to consolidate your student loans is a major one. When you consolidate your existing loans, you will no longer have access to the benefits that your current loans offer. Before you decide to give up those benefits, you must speak to your current loan provider to determine if there are any other alternatives to easing your financial situation.
9 questions to ask your loan provider before consolidating your student loans:
- What types of loans do I currently have?
- What are the interest rates on each of my current loans?
- Which of my loans have fixed interest rates and which have variable interest rates?
- What are the benefits associated with each of my loans?
- What are the requirements I have to meet to qualify for each of these benefits?
- Do you have a forgiveness program? / What do I have to do to qualify for a forgiveness program?
- Are there any repayment plans that will help to lower my monthly payments?
- Are there any downsides to choosing a repayment plan that will help me lower my monthly payments?
- Do you offer any protections if I lose my job or if I cannot afford my monthly payments for some reason?
Getting the answers to these questions will help you determine whether or not consolidation is the right choice for you.