“Education is the Key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” – George Washington Carver
This statement is true until it is time to repay student loans. We are all too excited to get our student loans so that we can be further educated, the excitement to learn is good. However, we never once thought that “Hey, this may very likely become a debt to repay for almost the rest of my life!”
Repaying a loan is not as easy as obtaining it. Some of us need to start repaying our loans even before we start on our first jobs, it gets increasingly worrying. Where do we even get the money to start paying the loan off?
There is a way we can work around it — refinancing and consolidating our loans.
Refinancing your student loan actually really means to borrow funds to pay off your existing loans. It may sound peculiar if you are hearing this for the first time because it sounds like going back to square one.
The catch is this: borrow the fund with lower interest rates — it lowers the total repayment amount at the end of the day. This works because the bulk of this loan is going towards repaying the principal of your student loan instead of the interest. You will find that you will, eventually, pay off your student loan much quicker than you would.
With refinancing our loans, we get the chance to consolidate these loans by including loans with higher interest rates. If the interest rate on our new reconsolidates loan is 3%, it makes sense to consolidate with the loans with interest rates higher than 3% — it brings down the interest rates we previously had.
However, if our initial student loan has an interest rate of 2%, it does not make sense to consolidate with the new loan, because all it does is to bring up the interest rate to 3%. You end up paying more on interest.
Consolidating student loans also extend the repayment terms. We do not have to sulk as much each month as we repay the loan this way because the monthly payments will be lowered.
Albeit a popular approach, it may not be advisable for everyone. The reason being Federal Student Loan Consolidation cannot be consolidated with private loans. Also, you would have paid a much higher sum of money in the end due to the interest incurred — sometimes up to twice the amount worth of interest.
Federal consolidated student loans have a lower interest rate in contrast with private consolidated student loans. What’s better, there is no application fee involved and governed by the US Department of Education. However, they both work similarly – merging our student loans into one monthly payment respectively.
If we can afford to repay our loans dutifully with not too much financial struggle, perhaps forgoing a night or two a week of eating out may be a much wiser choice. You gain health, and you maintain wealth.
Have you ever thought about consolidating your student loans?