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Good student loan consolidation lenders?

I am looking to consolidate my student loans with a federal consolidation loan. I know the interest rates are based on federal regulation, but I’m wondering about the other offers/benefits. If you have consolidated loans with a company, can you share personal experience about your lender–customer service, helpful website, quick loan processing, etc etc? Why did you chose your lender? Thanks!

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3 Responses to "Good student loan consolidation lenders?"

  1. Holly says:
    I consolidated my loans through two different lenders. I consolidated all my Direct Loans through DL and all my Sallie Mae loans through SLM.

    I chose not to consolidate the two lenders together because each was offering me a great deal for the loans I had with them. (I had about $5k with DL and about $30k with SLM, so I was planning on paying them off differently.)

    Both offered a great % rate plus an additional % reduction for setting up a direct withdrawal from my bank account.

  2. payingcollege says:
    Sallie Mae has a lot of great info about consolidation on their site, including an FAQ, clear explanation of benefits and a quick interactive tool that shows you how much you could save.

    http://www.salliemae.com/after_graduation/manage_your_loans/consolidate_student_loans/federal/student_loan_consolidation.htm

    As you do your research, it’s important to read the fine print and understand how you become qualified for or disqualified for a lender’s borrower benefits programs. Beyond savings, you should consider customer service, flexible repayment options, online account access and applications, reputation and industry experience when selecting a lender.

  3. marebear31485 says:
    I would talk to your current lender about what is offered. Some lenders have better deals if you do not consolidate. But if you do the most hassle free way is usually through your current lender. When you go through a third party it usually takes much longer to complete as the paperwork has to be sent back and forth between your current lender and your consolidating lender. Some of the more common benefits are a .25% rate reduction for setting up automatic withdrawal and a 1% interest rate reduction for making 36 (sometimes more, sometimes less) on time payments. A few will offer better than that, but not most. I would steer clear of the offers for a cash rebate after you make your first payment. If they offer this in conjunction with the other benefits than it may be worth it. But if that is all then it will save you more in the long run to go with the interest rate reduction. A lot of people will choose that because it seems like such a good deal, who wouldn’t want cash up front?

    But anyways, with 3rd party lenders I have seen some of them just now being finished when the person filled out the consolidation application in June of 2006. It doesn’t always take that long, but it definitely can. Good luck!

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