Consolidating private student loans bank of america

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When it comes to consolidation, the types of loans you have matters, but most federal loans, including Stafford, Perkins, Direct Plus and Supplemental loans, can be consolidated with other federal student loans.

“The interest rate on (federal) consolidation loans is an average of the interest rates on the (federal) loans you’re consolidating,” says Ken O’Connor, director of student advocacy for Fynanz, a New York City firm providing technology for the private student loan market.

Regardless of how the market fluctuates, borrowers will never pay more than 8.25 percent on their consolidation loans.

Private loans can typically only be consolidated with other private loans.

“The downside of getting a lower monthly payment is that you’re going to subject yourself to substantially more interest charges over the life of the loan,” he says.

Consolidating both types of loans excludes borrowers from federal protections.

When eyeing consolidation options for private loans only, Mayotte says borrowers should evaluate the new loan’s hardship protections and repayment terms in addition to the interest rate.

“With (our student loan program), if the borrower makes 12 months of on-time principal and interest payments, they can request to release the co-signer,” he says.

“That creates tremendous flexibility, especially for families applying for loans for multiple kids.” Students consolidating federal loans can do so through the Department of Education’s website at Loan gov, by phone at (800) 557-7392 or by downloading a paper application at Loan gov/borrower/and mailing it in.

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