What to look for when consolidating private student loans
Consolidating private student loans can be an attractive option when you have multiple loans at high interest rates. In theory, consolidating private student loans should enable you to lower your interest rates, reduce your student loan payment, and pay off your debt more quickly.
But taking on a new debt to pay off old loans is not always the most advantageous option. Private student loans are not eligible for federal consolidation programs – you’ll need to seek a loan from a bank or lending institution. If you’re carrying a lot of debt, you may not qualify for the lowest interest rates, and consolidating private student loans may not help you with the financial realities that have caused you to be in debt in the first place.
When you need help evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of consolidating private student loans, American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) offers free counseling to answer your questions and help you consider your options.
Consolidating private student loans with help from ACCC.
ACCC is a nonprofit organization that offers counseling, education, and low-cost debt management programs that can help you get out of debt and learn to live debt-free.
As you consider options for consolidating private student loans, our counselors will work with you to get a clear picture of your finances and a detailed view of your income, expenses, and assets. We’ll help you explore every option for how to consolidate student loans and get out of debt, and determine which approach makes the most sense for your financial goals. Our counselors are certified and highly trained experts in credit counseling, and can connect you with all of the student loan assistance programs available to you.
Alternatives to consolidating private student loans.
Consolidating private student loans is just one of many ways to approach student debt relief. If you’re not sure you want to take out a new loan to consolidate student loan debt, you may want to consider one of these options:
- Renegotiating your payment plan to lower your monthly student loan repayments were to tie the amount of your payments to your income.
- Seeking deferment or forbearance on your loans, enabling you to stop making payments for certain period of time.
- Having your loans forgiven through a student loan forgiveness program. This option is typically available to borrowers who are entering certain fields such as the military, healthcare, teaching or public service.
Learn more about consolidating private student loans with help from ACCC.