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      August 31, 2016
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Student Loan Consolidation
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Whether you have federal student loans (such as Stafford, PLUS, or Federal Perkins loans) or private student loans, there are a number of student loan consolidation services that can help you consolidate your loans into one single debt. This can result in lower interest rates, and, in some cases, dramatically reduced monthly loan payments. Many consolidation services offer fixed interest rates for the life of the loan, which can lock in your savings for years to come. This is good since consolidation loans typically have longer terms than other loans - usually anywhere from 10 to 30 years.

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that half of all recent college graduates have an average student loan debt of $10,000. For some students, this amount is much higher. Additionally, many students receive loans from a number of sources.

There are many advantages to consolidating all of these loans into a single debt. With interest rates at record lows, you will most likely receive a better rate by consolidating your loans now than when you first got your loans. The second advantage is reducing the number of creditors you have, which makes it easier to keep track of monthly loan payments. Additionally, consolidating your student loans into a single debt simplifies the repayment process, making it less likely that you will default on your loan payments.

There are a number of services available to help you in this process. Some only offer federal student loan consolidation, while others enable you to consolidate both federal and private student loans. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the student loan consolidation service you choose meets your student loan consolidation needs. Additionally, while some websites provide instant, online loan quotes, other websites do not. You will want to make sure that the service you select provides you with the information you need to make consolidation decisions.

There are a variety of issues to consider when looking for a student loan consolidation plan. Some of these include:

  • Information. Does the website provide adequate information to help you make student loan consolidation decisions?
  • Quality of Service. Does the website provide consolidation solutions that meet your needs?
  • Professionalism. Is the website professional and credible? Does the consolidation service have a strong reputation in the industry?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed the best student loan consolidation programs available today. We hope this information helps you select the student loan consolidation program that's right for you!

2016

Student Loan Consolidation Reviews

5 stars
National Debt Relief

NATIONAL DEBT RELIEF Visit Site

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award National Debt Relief is an established leader in consumer debt relief, and recently they've added student loan consolidation plans to their list of services. Now students can partner with National Debt Relief to reduce their burden of student loan debt, the way so many others have with personal debt struggles.

National Debt Relief is one of the most reputable debt relief organizations in the country. They have an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau, are members of the American Fair Credit Council, and all of their Debt Arbitrators are accredited through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. There is no concern about legitimacy when it comes to National Debt Relief - they are well known and widely respected.

To get started with National Debt Relief you simply complete their short online form to have a friendly consultant call with assistance, or call their toll-free customer service number when the time is right for you. Their consultants are well trained to perform a free student debt analysis and help determine which debt relief program is best geared for your personal situation.

The website is easy to navigate and tremendously informative. The main Student Loan Consolidation page has a detailed description of what kinds of student loans exist, the pitfalls and dangers associated with student loan debt, and a list of all the available debt relief options available. Their toll-free customer service number is clearly posted, and they provide easy access to information sources such as:

  • Certifications and accolades earned by National Debt Relief
  • A quick debt analysis calculator
  • Links to articles and information on fighting debt, employment advice, and a whole host of other finance topics

There is a ton of useful information here, more than we saw on most of the other student loan consolidation sites we have reviewed.

NDR offers a lot of options for both private and federal student loan relief. For example, there are standard consolidation options in which several student loans can be rolled into one, and then paid off either in equal monthly payments, graduated payments that are low at first and increase over the life of the loan, or extended payments that can lower the monthly amount even further by stretching the loan out to as long as 25 years. There are also several repayment options that are based on your income, where the amount of your monthly payment is based on a certain percentage of what you earn. There are other plans too, such as to make payment deferments, claim forbearance for medical or financial hardship, and even public service loan forgiveness.

One of the things we liked best about National Debt Relief is that they don't charge any upfront fees and don't collect payment until your student debt consolidation plan is implemented. They offer a 100% money back guarantee so you can keep your funds until your loan is fully restructured. They also don't charge any ongoing monthly maintenance fees, unlike many other companies out there.

National Debt Relief brings an excellent reputation and a strong range of options to deal with student loan debt. Their website is informative and easy to use, and their consultants are friendly and knowledgeable. If you’re looking for an effective student loan consolidation plan, National Debt Relief should be your first choice. They earn our highest rating.

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4.5 stars
Student Loan Consolidator

STUDENT LOAN CONSOLIDATOR Visit Site

Student Loan Consolidator offers both federal and private loan consolidation to significantly lower your monthly loan payments.

First, Student Loan Consolidator offers you a step-by-step tutorial to help you decide if consolidation is right for you. This is very useful and shows you just how much you can save by consolidating your student loans.

For federal student loans, Student Loan Consolidator offers a very aggressive fixed-rate refinancing program that combines all of your federal student loans into a new loan. This can cut your current student loan payment in half.

For private student loans, Student Loan Consolidator also offers a consolidation program, which can reduce your current payment by up to 50%. For this program, Student Loan Consolidator offers no application fees and conditional pre-approval within minutes when you apply online. Additionally, you receive a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you agree to pay your bill by automatic checking account withdrawal. As an special added bonus, interest-only payments are available for the first 24 months, which can provide additional savings for the first two years.

If you have any questions, you can reach a loan counselor by calling the toll-free phone number provided. The website is professional and offers a lot of good information to help you make an educated decision regarding loan consolidation.

With loan programs for both federal and private loan consolidation, special options such as an interest-rate reductions and interest-only payments, and detailed information to help you make educated loan consolidation decisions, Student Loan Consolidator earns our highest rating.

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4 stars
LendKey

LENDKEY Visit Site

LendKey can help students save a significant amount of money by consolidating and refinancing both federal and private student loans into a single loan with a lower interest rate. Based out of Ohio and currently awarded an A+ rating as a Better Business Bureau accredited company, LendKey works with credit unions and community banks, passing on the savings gained by working with smaller lending institutions in the form of lower interest rates. This is in keeping with their goal to place people before profits, also evident in the transparency in receiving multiple offers with clearly-defined borrowing terms after filling out a single, streamlined online application.

Customer reviews from most LendKey users demonstrate that LendKey delivers: many people talk about excellent customer service both online and over the phone, quick response times, and patient attention to any snags that happen along the way. Customers seem pleasantly surprised at how quickly their student loans can be refinanced and consolidated, and how well LendKey informed them of any updates or requirements for further details along the way.

And, for those who like to earn some money for spreading the word, LendKey gives a $50 referral bonus for every friend that is approved for student loan financing, and an additional $200 for every friend that refinances their student loans with them.

Students with loans should be aware that LendKey has a minimum debt amount of $7500 and a maximum of $125,000 (up to $175,000 for graduate degrees). Unfortunately, when we entered our information to get a sample rate, we got an error message and couldn’t determine the interest rate that would be offered in our situation. Because of this, we were only able to give LendKey a four-star rating; otherwise, their programs for both federal and private loans and their hundreds of satisfied customers make them a top choice for student loan consolidation.

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4 stars
Chase Loan Consolidation

CHASE LOAN CONSOLIDATION Visit Site

Chase is a leading financial services institution and one you can trust when it comes to federal student loan consolidation. Their online application is quick and easy, and you can find out whether you are eligible for their services within moments. Chase has a team of knowledgeable customer service representatives who can provide you with professional assistance and advice as you go through the consolidation process. They also offer a .25% ACH interest rate discount over the life of your loan, and you can count on a secure online process.

Chase student loan consolidation has a professional website that is easy to navigate and use. To consolidate with Chase, you must have at least $7,500 in federal student loans. Consolidation with Chase can lower your monthly payment by as much as 45% and allow you to start rebuilding your credit rating.

The Chase website includes easy access to a student loan consolidation calculator, FAQ's, the ability to find your federal student loan information, and a page dedicated to information about who should consolidate their federal student loans. You can use this information regardless whether you consolidation your loans with Chase.

Chase offers professional service, an easy to navigate website, and they are a trusted financial services company. We are impressed with the information they offer and their consolidation programs. However,Chase does not quite offer the same level of service as our higher-rated selections.

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3.5 stars
Wells Fargo Student Loan Consolidation

WELLS FARGO LOAN CONSOLIDATION Visit Site

Wells Fargo is a reputable financial services company that offers student loan consolidation as part of their vast portfolio of services. For private student loans only, you can reduce and simplify your monthly payment.

To get started, there is an easy to use online application at Wells Fargo that allows you to quickly see if you qualify for their consolidation program. Make sure you are aware that with private student loan consolidation, repayment begins immediately after your private loans have been successfully consolidated. Therefore, consolidating student loans is usually recommended for customers who are no longer in school.

When consolidating your loans, Wells Fargo offers you the option of choosing a fixed or variable rate. They offer a great summary of how rates work. If you choose to use an automatic payment plan from your personal checking or savings account, you can lower your interest rate by 0.25%. They also offer a relationship discount, where if you are a Wells Fargo customer you can lower your rate by an additional 0.50%. They offer school consolidation loans from $5,000 to $100,000 and process usually takes between 45-60 days.

Wells Fargo has trained specialists that are available via a phone call to assist with any questions you may have. However, their website is very well organized and has a clean appearance, making it easy to navigate.

Wells Fargo brings the comfort of a reputable and long standing company to the table when consolidating private student loans. Their website is informative and easy to use. We liked the quick turn around on the qualification process. However, they ranked a little lower as a result of their limit to private student loans only.

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3 stars
Federal Student Loan Consolidation

FEDERAL LOAN CONSOLIDATION Visit Site

Loan Consolidation may be able to help combine your Federal education loans into one new consolidated loan, potentially reducing the number of monthly payments, reduce the amount of your monthly payments, reduce the interest rate and reduce the time it takes you to pay off your Federal education loan.

There are multiple repayment plans with various term selections that you can choose from when consolidating your loan. You can switch repayment plans at any time, but there are some limitations, make sure you read the details thoroughly on the Loan Consolidation website. There are no minimum or maximum loan amounts and no consolidation fees.

To apply through Loan Consolidation you can fill out the online application, apply over the phone or print and mail a paper copy of the application.

At first glance this website lacks the professionalism that most of us expect from a financial company. However, once you navigate to the Borrower’s page (the website is also for Schools and Loan Holders) there is a toolbar on the left side that directs you to informational pages and those are a bit overwhelming. We had a difficult time finding the basics and details of the consolidation process that they offer. There is a glossary for their terms, but this still left us with even more questions. An online calculator is available to help you decide if it is worth consolidating your loans.

The lack of website professionalism, difficulty navigating and understanding the verbiage left us wanting much more from Loan Consolidation.

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Borrowers Confused About Payment of Different Student Loans

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Feingold Hits Johnson on College Costs Despite Getting $450K From Universities

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Study: Higher Student Loans Mean Fewer Young Entrepreneurs

Young Invincibles, a research and advocacy non-profit centered on exploring economic opportunity for young adults, released a new brief titled At the Extremes: Student Debt and Entrepreneurship. The study uncovered four related facts about the state of ...

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