Student Loan Refinance

By: Ken Marlborough

There are basically two types of Student Loans: Federal Student Loans and private loans. Federal loans are based on the financial need of the applicant [student] and are backed by the US government. They can be refinanced at far lower interest rates than private loans. Private loans are personal consumer loans.

Just as in other refinances, the main aim of Student Loan Refinancing is to reduce monthly payments to the lender. If the student has borrowed more than one loan, as in other types of refinance, the easiest way to accomplish this is to consolidate the loans [known as `debt consolidation']. But before debt consolidation, the student has to see that federal and private loans are not combined. If they are combined, the interest on the combined principal may turn out to be more than the total interest of the accrued loans considered separately. Consolidating federal loans and private loans separately is most economical. Student Loan consolidators can be consulted to work on this important aspect.

Private loans are based on the credit history of the student or the student's parents or guardians. Parents or guardians are the co-signers [also known as `co-endorsers'] in the Refinance agreement and assume equal responsibility for repayment of the loan, though they are not the beneficiaries.

Students with good credit histories stand a better chance than others. Here too, the students and the co-signers should see that their credit histories are in good shape. It is best to review their credit reports, and fix any problems. They should also compare interest rates from different lenders, so that they get the best deal.

Most Student Loans allow monthly repayments that stretch over 12-30 years, usually, and come due after the student graduates from the program or the course for which the loan was sought. The longer the period of repayment, more expensive it turns out to be. Hence, it is very important to speed the loan repayment as much as possible. There are numerous instances where students have saved thousands of dollars in interest.

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