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My daughter, who we convinced to go to college, graduated this past summer and now owes over $100,000 in student loans. They are not federal loans and they want her to start paying $600 a month. She is just a student hire right now and making enough to pay for her apartment and living expenses. Someone talked about consolidating them, but am scared she will be in further debt. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!
By Vickie from Dayton, OH
Give Sallie Mae a call and talk to them about consolidating. They can give you all the details and the options.
When I got married my wife and I both had loans that totaled an outrageous amount. We consolidated with them and were able to pick a plan were we payed less for the first 5 years and then the payments went up so that the loan could be paid in 30 years.
Of course if she can start paying more in that 5 year time she cuts down on the interest paid and pays off the loan sooner.
I highly recommend consolidating student loans. You can combine your subsidized into one loan and all your unsubsidized into two loans creating two loans. If you put them all into Salle Mae they have a ton of payment options. I've been with Salle Mae since I graduated and consolidated with them years ago. They have one option that lets you "ramp" payments over a long timespan. I did this so that as I graduated and had a tiny job I only paid $50 a month, after three years it went up to $100 and right now I'm paying $250 a month. I make a lot more than I did 5 years ago. There are other options however depending on the wants and needs of your individual case. Also, if in the future you discover you need an adjustment to the payment plan Salle Mae is very willing to work with you. I put my loan into a temporary forebearance when I lost my job and altered the payment schedule to temporarily lower the payments. It's true though the more you stretch it out the longer it takes to pay because of the interest fees but what if in 5 years she's able to make double her payments?
My brother is in the same situation. His payments are around $900. He tried to consolidate his but it didn't work out of him. They were going to raise his interest rates so he undid it. So it wouldn't hurt to try! You don't have to except the proposal from the bank.
I have my loans though Wells Fargo. I just recently got my rate lowered just for graduating! Look and see ways to lower the rate. You can get it lowered for graduating and signing up for direct deposit.
If those don't work out for you, you can defer the payments. She will probably still be adding up interest, but at least she can get some time to get on her feet!
Talk to the banks. They will try to help you find the best solution! Good luck!
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I have three student loans. I have heard that there is something offered, possibly through the government, to consolidate student loans with a low rate (not higher than what I pay now). Does anyone have any experience with this and have any tips?
There is a government program that will consolidate your loans at a very low interest rate. But, you need to do it now. DO NOT consolidate with the company that you got the loans from or you cannot re-consolidate with the government one. Call the Education Dept. in Washington D.C. and they will tell you how to get started. Hurry while the rates are low. Again do not consolidate with the company that you have the loan with or you will not be able to get the lower interest rate. Good luck! (05/12/2004)