After graduation a lot of students found that they were suddenly juggling several student loans. That makes sticking to any budget without incurring a few late fees nearly impossible. They needed a strategy for getting those bills under control. That’s were student loan consolidation comes in.

Student loans can be drawn on various institution with each one carrying a different rate of interest. There could be one having a co-signer and others that don’t, and each payment can be due on a different day of the month. The terms and conditions can vary as well.

So imagine if you could take all that mess and mold it into one monthly payment, one day of the month, to one institution, with terms and conditions laid out only one way,  wouldn’t life be grand? That is so much simpler to manage. That is how student load consolidation works. I have a list of three things to consider when deciding whether or not to consolidate your own student loans:

Remove Co-Signers – Good ole’ Dad or poor Uncle Charlie might be lingering around as your co-signers on a loan or two. Now that you have a job you need to take them off the student loan contracts. If you have shown yourself to be credit worthy then this is very do-able. You should make this happen before you apply for your consolidation loan.

Minimum Amount – In order to qualify for the bulk of all student loans your outstanding debts on all loans needs to be no less than $5,000.

Continue Payments – The wisest thing you can do when you apply for student loan consolidation would be to continue payments regularly to each institution that currently holds one of your loans. This whole process of consolidating can take as long as 45 days. So if you make no payments during that time your credit could take a hit. Then you may even get turned down for the consolidation. Always check with the prospective lender.

Ask them this:

What kind of interest rate will I get? Are there any origination fees? Will I be allowed to pay extra each month without penalty? What kind of terms and conditions will I get? What size will my payments be, what day will they be due on, and for how long will this loan be set for? You might want to ask for a little wiggle room, maybe 30 to 60 days before your first payment will be due. That way you have a month or so to get your financial house in order.

Student consolidation can be a wise move if done correctly, and the goal is to get that one single manageable payment every month.