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Consolidating Student Loans

On July 1, 2008 the interest rates on outstanding federal student loans are 6.8 percent—the highest rate in six years—and the rate on outstanding federal parent loans 8.5 percent. 

Student borrowers who consolidate before July 1st may be eligible to lock in a rate as low as 4.75 percent over the life of their loan(s)—which would save the typical undergraduate borrower almost $3,500 over the life of his or her loan. But students and parents must act quickly to ensure that they can lock in these lower rates. 

The day you enter repayment the interest rates of your student loans increase 0.6%. If you apply for your Federal Consolidation Loan before the end of your grace period your new loan will be based on your discounted interest rate. Submit your application as soon as possible.

Shopping Around 
Some lenders will reduce your interest rate by an additional quarter-point if you agree to have monthly payments automatically deducted from your checking or savings account.

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