Consolidate student loan payments with help from ACCC.
When you’re having trouble managing your student loan repayments, it may be time to consolidate student loan debt in order to lower your payments. But student loan debt consolidation isn’t for everyone — depending on the types of loans you have and your financial situation, there may be better alternatives to help you pay down debt faster. That’s why, before you choose to consolidate student loan payments, you should seek professional advice from American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC).
At ACCC, we provide nonprofit services designed to help you get out of debt and live a debt-free life. Our experienced counselors can walk you through all the options for managing student debt and help you decide whether to consolidate student loan debt or pursue other options.
Should you consolidate student loan obligations?
Consolidating student debt involves creating a new loan to pay off multiple student education loans. You can consolidate student loan debts on federal loans through the Direct Consolidation Loan program. Most federal loans are eligible for consolidation, including Direct, Stafford, Perkins, and others. To consolidate private student loans, you would need to work with a private loan consolidation company.
There are many good reasons to consolidate student loan obligations. You can lower your monthly payments by increasing the amount of time over which you can pay the loan back. And if your original loan had a variable interest rate, consolidating to a fixed interest rate will help to stabilize your finances and create a lower monthly payment.
The principle reason not to consolidate student loan payments is that you may lose benefits like interest rate discounts, rebates, or forgiveness that the older loans offered.
Choosing not to consolidate student loan debts? Debt relief alternatives.
If you don’t want to consolidate student loan debt, the other options available to you include:
- Alternative repayment plans to lower monthly payments, extend the length of the loan, or tie the amount of payments to your income.
- A student loan forgiveness program which offers forgiveness of student loans to those entering specific fields such as military service, healthcare, teaching, or public service.
- Deferment or forbearance. This option is usually available only to those facing financial hardship and would permit you to postpone the payment of the loan for a period of time.
Your ACCC counselor can help you determine which option is best for you and also provide student loan default help if you have not been making payments on your loans.
Learn more about how to consolidate student loan debt with ACCC.