Student Loan Consolidation - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/18/05 - Nacogdoches

Student Loan Consolidation

by Donna McCollum

Working in the financial aid office has its benefits for new SFA graduate Clark Haynes. He's among the first to hear about the government giving formal approval to government loan consolidation. School's out, but he's still doing his homework by calling his lender. "What they can do for me is take the term of the loan to 15 years instead of 10 years and instead of variable interest rates they can give me a fixed interest rate," said Haynes.

That currently sits around 2.8%. Quite a bit lower than the almost 5% rate expected after July 1st. But before jumping into loan consolidation new grads must give up another benefit.

Assistant Financial Aid Director Donnie Purvis explained, "Loan consolidation will put them into repayment immediately instead of allowing them the 6 month grace period that they normally have which many students need until they find a job." In addition, lenders are not obligated to grant consolidations. A borrower's risk factors will be studied.

Purvis is getting some e-mail inquiries about loan consolidation, but he doesn't foresee a wave of students taking part. "We don't have a huge window between now and July 1st. I just don't think there's gonna be enough students that gets the information and do the research quick enough," said Purvis.

Lucky for Haynes, he's got a head start. "I want to make sure whatever do it will be the smart decision and I think right now that's what I'm leaning towards," said Haynes.

For more information about student loan consolidations go to www.ifap.ed.gov and go to 'What's New'.

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