Location: Rosemead, CA
Dilemma: “I graduated from college in June of 2008 and I tried to consolidate my student loans after I graduated. I was told by my lender that I couldn’t consolidate my loans until they were in repayment mode (after the 6 month grace period). Now that my grace period is up, my lender isn’t consolidating student loans because of the state of the economy. A woman from their company told me just to Google “loan consolidation” and pick a company to consolidate my loans with. I feel really uneasy about that – I don’t want to just consolidate my loans with anyone, and I want to know I am getting the best interest rates. Right now some of my loans are private and some are from the government and my interest rates are right about 4.21% (one is 6.8%). Do you have any advice?”
Solution: Here are legitimate resources for Katie and anyone else trying to consolidate student loans when lending is as tight as can be.
The federal government has a Web site where you can apply to consolidate your student loans and get info about your options.
FinAid, a reputable private site that has been around for 15 years, has a great page about consolidating student loans that may be helpful.
Student Loan Consolidator is a private company that is part of Edvisors Network, which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The site has info about consolidating public and private loans.
To get the best consolidation deal, compare interest rates from at least three lenders before you decide on one. If you cannot consolidate your loans, prioritize paying them off so you attack the one with the highest interest rate first. Good luck, Katie!