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A Guide to Student Loan Consolidation
The federal government offers many options for financing your education from Federal Pell Grants and the Monetary Award Program (MAP) to PLUS Loans, Stafford Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. Pell Grants and MAP awards do not have to be repaid, but student loans do.
Stafford Loans are low-interest student loans guaranteed by the government. Perkins Loans are campus-based loans with a fixed 5% interest rate, and a nine month grace period. Perkins loans are also guaranteed by the federal government. PLUS Loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Student) are granted to students based on the parents creditworthiness.
To cover the costs of tuition and education related expenses, most students will have to take out a number of loans from multiple lenders. The amounts, repayment terms, and repayment schedules will vary. Students may find that repaying several different lenders is not only taxing, but the payments may be too high after graduation and beyond. Fortunately, relief is possible through student loan consolidation.
Student loan consolidation is the refinancing of multiple student loans guaranteed by the federal government. The Higher Education Act (HEA) provides for a loan consolidation program under the Direct Loan Program and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. Under these programs, the student’s loans are paid off and a new consolidated loan is created. The loan consolidation program is a good option because:
-It simplifies the loan repayment process by combining all of the student’s Federal student loans into one loan, meaning there’s only one place to pay each month
Applying for student loan consolidation is easy. Before applying, use an online calculator to estimate what your new monthly payments would be under one of four repayment plans including:
-Standard Repayment Plan
Under the Standard Repayment Plan, you will pay a fixed amount each month and your payments will be no less than $50 a month for 10-30 years, based on total debt. Under the Graduated Repayment Plan, your minimum payment amount will equal the amount of interest accrued monthly. Payments will start out on the low end, then gradually increase every two years for 10-30 years.
The Extended Repayment Plan is for students with student loan debt that exceeds $30,000. Under this plan, you will have a maximum of 25 years to repay the loan and you can choose a fixed rate payment option (same amount each month) or a graduated monthly payment option, as discussed above. Under the Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR), monthly payments are ba...
Yes, Colleges Still Have Money to Loan
Even during tough economic times, colleges and universities have the means to tap into funds that have been reserved for a “rainy day.” Take Ohio State University, for example. Faced with the possibility of decreased enrollment due to lack of financial aid to many students, Ohio State University tapped into the school’s emergency fund back in 2008 to move roughly $1 million into a program that provides students with emergency short-term loans. The loan amounts ranged from $100 up to $1,000. OSU took it’s mission to help young people pursue their dreams and earn a degree a step further by guaranteeing that tuition would not be raised midway through the 2008-2009 school year. The university went on to promise that if tuition rose for the 2009-2010 school year, financial aid would increase in lockstep.
Ohio State University is not alone in its quest to provide financially strapped students with emergency University backed loans. Universities currently loan more than $1.5 billion out of the $66 billion in new federal student loans, to students. As of 2006, more than 157 participated in School as Lender (SAL) programs. Among the more than 157 participating SAL schools are:
While roughly a third of schools use institutional funds to finance student loans, other schools partner with a commercial or nonprofit lending institution to establish a line of credit. Once the line of credit is established, the schools offer loans directly to graduate, law, and medical students, often placing themselves on the list of lenders the school recommends. The schools hold the loans for a certain period of time, typically two to three months after the money has been fully disbursed to the students/borrowers. During that time, the school collects interest, plus the government subsidies provided to lenders in the federally guaranteed student-loan program. The schools then sell the portfolio back to the banks for the agreed-upon premium.
Status of the School as Lender Program
While many universities have money for loans from funds taken directly from their own savings, universities that have partnered with a commercial or nonprofit lending institution to establish a line of credit might be in trouble. For starters, schools acting as lenders are constantly being scrutinized in order to help protect students and borrowers against unscrupulous practices. And although $1.5 billion is a small slice ...
UST Executive Conference on the Future of Health Care
Dates: 11/5/2020 – 11/5/2020
University of St.Thomas Saint Paul
2260 Summit Avenue
Discover how you can play an active role in shaping the future by what you do within your organization and network with other health care leaders who are dealing with similar issues. The pace of change in health care has increased exponentially since our inaugural health care conference. And by the time the second annual conference convenes, Congress will have passed its bill for health care reform. We’ll have officially begun a new journey.Fortunately, visionary leaders have been helping to shape this next phase of health care. Investments in innovation and quality have led to some very effective – and often surprising – ways to cut costs, reduce errors, increase service and satisfaction, and improve access and outcomes. Bold initiatives such as these should be shared – especially during this transformative time, when we are all looking for fresh models of excellence. The University of St. Thomas and its partners invite you to participate in an inspiring day of learning, sharing and strategizing about how we can leverage innovation and quality to thrive in the new health care environment. Book Club:November 4, 2010Thursday, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Conference:November 5, 2010Friday, 8:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Please visit the University of St. Thomas Executive Health Care Conference website for more information or copy and paste the following URL: http://ustfutureofhealthcare.com