Student loan debt consolidation is a strategy that allows a student to combine all his loan debts into a single loan, with one monthly payment. Student loans are classified into federal student loans and private student loans. Federal student loans are issued by the US Department of Education as well as the Department of Health and Human Services, and private student loans are administered by the non-federal organizations and other private lenders.
Student loan debt includes all kinds of educational expenses incurred by a student to complete his studies. Most students leave college with large debts. In student loan debt consolidation, the existing loan is paid off either by the US Department of Education or other private and non-federal organizations, depending upon the nature of the loans. A new loan is created with one monthly payment stretching over a period of time. However, consolidation rules and regulations are different for federal student loans and private student loans.
When federal student loans are consolidated, it lowers the monthly payment by up to 60%. Low fixed interest rates and retention of subsidy benefits are other benefits of federal student loan debt consolidation. The interest rate of the federal student loan consolidation is the weighted average of interest rates of all loans that have been combined. In the case of private student loan consolidation, lenders fix the interest rates. Further, private student loans are not consolidated with federal student loans.
Student loan debt consolidation has become quite popular in recent years, as it avoids the problem of paying off several separate bills every month. Today, there are a number of student loan consolidation services and centers, including banks participating in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, to cater to the student loan debt consolidation needs. Student loan debt consolidation services are also available through the Internet.