Advice on consolidating student loans

Know that you might need a higher credit score if you want the best rates without a co-signer.

Along with gaining a new degree, many graduates will also leave campus with new student loan payments they’ll have to fit into their post-graduate budgets.

Almost all types of federal loans can be consolidated.

Borrowers should have loan account numbers, estimated payoff dates and contact information for each of their loans’ holders ready.

Instead of making multiple payments to multiple lenders, the borrower only has to pay off the new consolidation loan, says Michelle Pezzulli, vice president of operations for Credit Union Student Choice, a student lending service provider in Washington, D. “That new loan will have its own interest rate; it will have its own repayment terms; it will have its own terms and conditions,” she says.

This can be attractive to borrowers because the consolidation frequently results in longer repayment periods and lower monthly payments.

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