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Student Loan consolidation help?

I am going to be going into a two year paralegal program starting in the fall and I am pretty sure that I got the Stafford Loan for $3,500 and I got a grant for about $900. The Paralegal program will end up costing about $11,000 so I’ll need to take out a private student loan.

I find all of the financial aid and loans to be very confusing but I was looking at a private loan through Chase Manhattan bank that didn’t seem so bad. I was wondering about loan consolidation. Are there any banks that will consolidate federal stafford loans and a private loan together to help you have a lower monthly payment? Chase Manhattan said you cannot consolidate a federal and private loan but I was wondering if maybe another bank would do that? Or is there another smart way to go about handling your loans after graduation? I’m just trying to think of the whole picture and plan for graduating.

Also, when you take out a private loan it seems like they all have the variable thing going on..why don’t they offer a fixed rate? Do you try to consolidate and get a fixed rate when you’re done school?

Like I said before…financial aid is very confusing to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

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6 Responses to "Student Loan consolidation help?"

  1. Molly C says:
    It is totally confusing. I would try to get all of your loans through the government if you can, but if you have to go private, use a large financial institution. You can change your interest rates from a variable to a fixed rate once you graduate from your program and consolidate.

    You may want to call a company like Nelnet (www.nelnet.net) and see what they can offer you. I consolidated all of my student loans through them and have had a great experience. Good luck…and don’t worry it’s easy to get money for school, you just have to know where to start and who to call.

  2. Jdub says:
    Private and federal loans cannot be consolidated together.

    Your state may offer an alternative loan with a fixed rate. Contact the states Office of Scholarships and Grants (or whatever your state calls it) for more information.

  3. RM says:
    please visit this website for information on loan consolidation
    http://www.freescholarshipguide.com/index.php?action=stuloan
  4. carlos says:
    You’ll be consolidating at the end of your education, if you struggle to pay different bills.

    But do not consolidate with a private company before the end of your scholarship, because you start paying interests from the day you consolidate.

    Good luck !

  5. Ruby says:
    Actually you can consolidate private and Federally guaranteed loans, but your consolidated loan now becomesa private loan. Meaning you lose your Federal rights of deferment, forbearace and loan forgiveness. Your new rate will be based on your credit and not on the weighted average of your interest rates. As foar as I know, all private loans have variable interest rates, even if you consolidate them.

    If you are enrolled under half time, you don’t have to wait till you graduate to consolidate. You can do it now. By consolidating, you will be on a fixed rate and not have to worry about the rates changing by July 1st. While still in school, you can be on an In School deferment. So you still don’t have to pay for your student loans.

    There is also a Graduate PLUS loan but this is for those who have finished their bachelor’s degree, working on their master’s, and have used up all their Stafford loans.

    Check out this link and look for Joy. She was able to help me and my friends out.

    1. Raena says:
      I can’t find a bank that will help me change my federal loan to a private loan so that I can take advantage of their lower rates. I don’t care so much about the forbearance and deferment offered through federal loans because I plan to pay ontime until they’re done. Private loans have rates that are 3% less than the federal ones. Do you know which banks will do this? I want out of my Stafford loans.

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