student loans
November 15, 2020

My Experience With Federal Student Loan Consolidation

By Patrick Stone

My college tuition was paid for in a combination of different ways, including savings, grants, scholarships and federal and private student loans.

A couple years back, as my college graduation date neared, I was terrified and lacking knowledge of what was in store for my college student loans. There were so many factors and options for paying back and consolidating and restructuring my student loans.

This article describes my personal experience with the process. I strongly encourage anyone considering or uneducated about restructuring and repaying college student loans to use the numerous resources out there.

Starting points in research can include the Federal Department of Education, your student loan lender and your college’s financial aid office.

My first experience with student loan reconsolidation was while I was still in school.

When I entered college in 2003, student loan interest rates were extremely low. It was decided that during the summer of 2005, interest rates on federal student loans would rise. I was unfamiliar with the concept of student loan consolidation as well as the process for loan consolidation.

I visited my college financial aid office that provided me with further resources as well as showed me a calculation of what the outcome would be if I were to reconsolidate. I chose to do so with the savings was $1,000 of the life of the loans if I chose to reconsolidate my federal loans at that point in time.

A few years later, with my college graduation date looming, I was once again unsure of my options and was very frightened of the whole process repayment and reconsolidation process. For the first year after graduation, I paid my federal and private student loans on the default repayment schedule.

The following year I read in the news and received mailings about an opportunity to consolidate before student loan interest rate changes. Before looking into my student loans, I decided to better understand my current situation.

student loan consolidationI placed all my student loan information from my file cabinet into an easy to view spreadsheet, complete with interest rates and lender contact information. I then researched what consolidation entailed in this instance.

Consolidation after July 1, 2009 was the right move for me. I completed an application online, which was easy to complete using the spreadsheet I had already compiled.

At that time I was also prompted to specify which repayment plan I wanted to sign up for, at which point I realized I had numerous more options that I had thought.

In addition to student loan consolidation making financial sense, it also made the process of repaying my student loans less complicated and stressful.

My loans and repayment schedules were rolled into one. I strongly advise every college student and graduate to research and learn about their college student loan repayment and consolidation options.