Sunday, May 9, 2010

How to Find the Lowest Student Loan Consolidation Rate


1) Often, you'll find that the federal government offers the best interest rate. You can check their consolidation rates at http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/help/rate.html

They also have an online calculator that will tell you what your monthly student loan payments will look like.
https://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/loancalc/servlet/Controller?controller_task=startCalculator

2) You can also get consolidation loans from private banks. These are usually based on an interest rate called the Prime Rate, but usually add a little bit of interest to that rate.

Well Fargo, for instance, posts its student loan consolidation rate here:
http://wfefs.wellsfargo.com/jump/rates.html#priv_consol

You can find the Prime Rate here:
http://www.bankrate.com/rates/interest-rates/prime-rate.aspx

Try asking a bank that you do your checking account with if they do student loan consolidation. Ask if they can give you a discount since you have other accounts with them.


3) As a last resort, check with a company that "specializes" in student loan consolidation. Here are the rates at Student Loan Consolidator, one of these companies:
http://www.studentloanconsolidator.com/consolidation/projected-rates.php

Be careful with these guys though. They're usually out to make a profit, so they might be looking out for their interests over yours. But if the rate is rate, give it a shot!

Bottom line: Most of the time, the federal student loan interest rate will be the best. If you're looking to consolidate with the least headache, go straight for the federal refinance.

Photo credit: Harrison Keely

1 comment:

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