What to Ask Your Loan Provider Before Consolidating

Talk to your current loan provider before consolidating.

Flickr user Ted Eytan

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:

  1. What types of loans do I currently have?
  2. What are the interest rates on each of my current loans?
  3. Which of my loans have fixed interest rates and which have variable interest rates?
  4. What are the benefits associated with each of my loans?
  5. What are the requirements I have to meet to qualify for each of these benefits?
  6. Do you have a forgiveness program? / What do I have to do to qualify for a forgiveness program?
  7. Are there any repayment plans that will help to lower my monthly payments?
  8. Are there any downsides to choosing a repayment plan that will help me lower my monthly payments?
  9. 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.

 

Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.74% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT EARNEST
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT LENDKEY
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT CREDIBLE
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.89% - 5.90%*
Fixed APR: 2.50% - 6.00%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT LAUREL ROAD
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.98% - 7.04%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT COMMONBOND
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 6.22%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 6.52%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.79%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.89%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ELFi

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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