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I recently graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I now have student loans to pay off. I've heard that something that should be done with your student loans is consolidation, but I know very little about it and unsure of where to get trustable advice on the subject.

I have 4 years worth of Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized, both) loans and one "direct from the bank" student loan. The Stafford loan rates don't vary much, they are primarily 6.8%, with a couple that are lower (6.0%, 5.6%). The direct from bank loan is 8.23%.

Should I be seeking to consolidate? Or perhaps a better question is where/who should I go to learn whether I should consolidate, how and what should I watch out for?

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My information is 10 years old but back then i am glad i consolidated.

First of all the consolidated loan was at the fixed rate while my Stafford loans were floating.

In addition the consolidation company offered discounts for timely payments and electronic fund transfer so after a couple of years my rate had 0.75% discount.

So if nothing changed and your loans are floating and you can consolidate at fixed rate it probably makes sense as rate will probably not going to be any lower

One thing to look out for is that many consolidated loans are offering 20 year term instead of 10. So just be disciplined enough to make extra payments monthly so you can still pay it off in 10 years (or less)

  • That's a good point about fixed versus floating. I'm embarrassed to confess I'm not sure which mine are! Sounds like something I need to add to the information I'm trying to put together for myself!(rates, amounts, who "holds" the loan, etc.) – Iain Nov 3 '10 at 18:42
  • @Vitalik Do you remember the name of your company that you consolidated with? Thanks – pal4life Oct 18 '16 at 21:21
  • @pal4life mygreatlakes.org but again. this was a very time long ago. – Vitalik Oct 20 '16 at 10:33

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