Refinancing involves repaying an older debt by taking on a new loan. Private loan refinancing may involve consolidating various loans into one loan, while federal loan consolidation converts the interest rates to a weighted average.
What steps should you take?
Determine whether you qualify for consolidation or refinancing+
If you recently graduated, do not have a job, or are thinking of changing jobs soon, we recommend keeping your existing federal loans until you stabilize your employment situation. Federal loans often have generous repayment options available. However, if you have good credit, a good job and secure financial situation, and you are seeking to eliminate your student loan debt as quickly as possible, we recommend examining refinancing or consolidation as a viable option. Learn the difference between refinancing and consolidation.
Find a lender+
One of the lenders we recommend is CommonBond, a credible company with an easy refinancing process, unemployment protection, no application or disbursement fees, and the ability to refinance and consolidate both private and federal student loans. However, not all lenders are alike. Find a lender with a competitive interest rate who will be able to meet your particular needs.
Determine how much money you can pay per month+
Interest rates are typically higher for longer repayment terms, but monthly payments are higher for shorter terms. The big question is, how much can you afford per month? Answering this question can help you decide how long you want to be repaying your loans. If you have the ability to pay a larger monthly payment, choose a shorter repayment period. As an example, the monthly payment may be higher for a 5-year loan, but you could save almost $10,000 in interest over the life of the loan.
Choose a fixed or variable interest rate+
With a fixed interest rate, your rates will not change with time. A variable interest rate can change over the life of the loan. Fixed interest rates are generally higher in the short term than variable rates, but if variable interest rates remain low over time, there is the potential for saving money. There are pros and cons to both types of interest rates, so talk with your lender about which is best for you.
Student loans getting you down? CAP has ways to lift you up! Connect with a CAP partner to refinance now with special rates.