Graduating in May? Find out If Federal Student Loan Consolidation is Right for You: SimpleTuition Offers Insight into the Pros and Cons of Consolidating

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With college graduation just around the corner, more than three million students are not only preparing their caps and gowns, they're also preparing to pay back student loan debt approaching $40 billion.

Graduating students should be focused on getting started in the real world, not spending hours and hours trying to understand student loan consolidation. It's important, of course, but it doesn't have to be confusing and time consuming. We hope our website can help.

    After graduation, students with one or more loans can consolidate them into one - usually lower - monthly payment. But is consolidating the best option? SimpleTuition, Inc., a company dedicated to helping students and parents make sense of education financing choices, notes it's important to obtain all information before making a choice.

Before jumping the gun, SimpleTuition recommends analyzing the pros and cons, including:

Pros of Consolidation:

-- Lower monthly payment

-- One loan, one lender, one payment

-- Aggressive "borrower benefits" such as cash back, reduced rate for on-time payments or automatic debit, and a fixed interest rate that could lower your total cost of borrowing (SimpleTuition recommends reading the fine print on the benefits closely - there may be some stringent requirements to obtaining them, and they may be easy to lose.)

Cons of Consolidation:

-- Longer repayment period could lead to a higher total cost of loan

-- In some cases, higher interest rate

The SimpleTuition website walks graduating students through a quick but thorough analysis of: first, whether consolidation is even right for them; and second, if it does seem like the right step, a comparison of up to 25 consolidation offers from big banks, student lenders and even the federal government itself. Users can even enter ANY other consolidation offer they've received to see how it compares. Results can be sorted by monthly payment, number of payments, total cost of loan and APR. With direct links to a financial institution's online application, the entire consolidation process can be completed online or via a toll free call. To ensure accuracy SimpleTuition is not a lender.

"Graduating from college is a huge achievement. And it's a busy time in a person's life," said Kevin Walker, CEO of SimpleTuition, Inc. "Graduating students should be focused on getting started in the real world, not spending hours and hours trying to understand student loan consolidation. It's important, of course, but it doesn't have to be confusing and time consuming. We hope our website can help."

SimpleTuition also offers a resource for students looking to consolidate private loans, but reminds borrowers that they should never include their federal loans into a private student loan consolidation loan.

About SimpleTuition, Inc.

Founded in 2005, SimpleTuition is dedicated to helping students and parents make sense of education financing options. Recently featured as one of Fast Company's Top 12 Web 2.0 sites, SimpleTuition offers the leading independent and objective solution for researching and comparing private, PLUS, Stafford, GradPLUS, Federal Consolidation and Private Consolidation loans. The company currently offers over 50 student loan options from over 25 top lenders. SimpleTuition is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts and is funded by Atlas Venture, IDG Ventures Boston and North Hill Ventures. For more information visit http://www.SimpleTuition.com.

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