So you’ve finally finished school and have officially entered what so many adults like to call “the real world”, you may feel as though your newly earned money is going directly from your paycheck to your debt repayment plan (with nothing left for your pocket!). So you think about consolidating your loans, but is that really the best option you have? Yes, it is actually! Here’s why. By consolidating now it’s possible to save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest that would have been incurred over the years. Especially right now because interest rates are at their lowest and now is a great time to take advantage of that fact. Also, by consolidating your loan, you make it more convenient to pay off your debts. Most importantly, you are lowering your overall interest rates which will save you lots of money over longer periods of time. It’s essential to get a fixed rate though, or eventually the interest rate could rise. Be wary of companies that try to pull you in by offering very low introductory interest rates, these jump up soon leaving you stuck with a high interest rate.
Consolidated loans mean you only have one lump payment, instead of several smaller ones. Generally, the monthly payment is less than all your loans put together, which frees up a little more money for your wallet. Over time, this could save you money and allow you to have more money readily available to use for stuff like furniture or maybe stereo equipment. Or instead of spending it, having that cash to put into savings will turn out good in the long run. Having one payment makes keeping track of your loan easier which could mean less late payments and a clearer view of where you are at when it comes to your debt load.
When you consolidate, you create the possibility of a lower interest rate. This is because sometimes opportunities arise in which you can defer or through forbearance have a chance to make that interest rate drop even more, thereby putting more of your monthly payment to the actual principle amount of the loan. Which for you means a faster payoff. If you can look for a consolidation that allows for no prepayment penalty, because you can pay off these loans quicker. As you earn more money a plan where you can prepay without punishment is ideal as having this option can bring you closer to being debt free even faster. Another benefit to consolidating student loans is tax breaks. There is a deduction that you can claim whether you itemize, this can reduce the amount of taxable income up to $2,500.
And yet another advantage that consolidating your student loan can do is raise your overall credit rating. This is because you will have reduced the number of creditors on your credit report. The more creditors you have on your credit report wanting to collect from you the worse off your actual credit score will appear. One consolidated loan means only one creditor, this will immediately improve your credit rating. Then eventually when all your payments have been made your credit rating will improve further.
Now that all the benefits and advantages to consolidating your student loan debts have been laid out for you, doesn’t it make sense to do it? With more free cash, easier and more convenient payments and payment schedules, an improved credit rating, tax breaks, lower interest rates, and even being out of debt sooner, consolidating is worth looking into! So, what are you waiting for?