Private Student Loan Consolidation
Private student loans cannot, in general, be consolidated with
federal student loans. The low interest rates on federal consolidation
loans are not available to private education loans. Nevertheless,
there are several options for refinancing private education loans.
Since most private education loans do not compete on price, a private
consolidation loans is merely replacing one or more private education
loans with another. So the main benefit of such a consolidation is
obtaining a single monthly payment. Also, since the consolidation
resets the term of the loan, this may reduce the monthly payment (at a
cost, of course, of increasing the total interest paid over the
lifetime of the loan).
However, since the interest rates on private student loans are based
on your credit score, you may be able to get a lower interest rate
through a private consolidation loan if your credit score has improved
significantly since you first obtained the loan. For example, if
you've graduated and now have a good job and have been building a good
credit history, your credit score may have improved. If your credit
score has increased by 50-100 points or more, you may be able to get a
lower interest rate by consolidating your debt with another
lender. You can also try talking to the current holder of your loans,
to see if they'll reduce the interest rate on your loans rather than
lose your loans to another lender.
Home Equity Loans
Private education loans tend to have interest rates that are
in the same ballpark as home equity loans. If your private education
loan has a variable interest rate, you might consider using a fixed
rate home equity loan to pay off the private education loan,
effectively locking in the interest rate.
The following education lenders will consolidate private education
loans. These are private consolidation programs, so the interest rates
are dictated by the lender, not the government. There may be
additional fees charged for originating these loans.
You should not consolidate your federal student loans together with
your private education loans. They should be consolidated separately,
as the federal consolidation loans offer superior benefits and lower
interest rates for
consolidating federal student loans.
When evaluating a private consolidation loan, ask whether the interest
rate is fixed or variable, whether there are any fees, and whether
there are prepayment penalties.
The lenders are listed in alphabetical order. No significance should
be inferred from the order in which the lenders are listed.
|Cedar Education Lending Private Student Loan Consolidation
$7,500 minimum. Maximum of $125,000 in undergraduate private student
loan debt and $175,000 in graduate school debt. Up to 15-year repayment
term with no pre-payment penalties. Interest ranges from 3M Prime + 1.50%
to 3M Prime + 4.00%. Origination fee is 1.00%. Interest-Only Repayment
Option for up to 4 years for eligible borrowers. Cosigner release
option after 12 months of on-time principal and interest payments.
Loans originated by cuStudentLoans.org.
|cuStudentLoans.org cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation
$7,500 minimum. $125,000 maximum for undergraduate degree recipients,
$175,000 for graduate degree recipients. Up to 15-year term. Variable
rate loan. Interest ranges from 3M LIBOR + 4.25% to 3M LIBOR +
6.75%. Origination fee is 1.00%. Cosigner release option after 12
months of on-time principal and interest payments, provided that
credit criteria are satisfied. Graduated, interest-only (up to 4
years) and level repayment options available.
|DEAL Consolidation Loan
Only borrowers with at least one DEAL private student loan from the
Bank of North Dakota (BND) are eligible.
There are both fixed interest and variable interest rate options. The
variable interest rates are based on the current variable rate for the
DEAL loan program, the 3-month LIBOR index plus either 1.5% or 2.5%,
with the lower rate reserved for borrowers who are from North Dakota
or who enrolled at a North Dakota college. The fixed rate is
calculated by replacing the interest rate on any variable-rate loans
with the current fixed rate for new DEAL loans, FHLB 10-Year Advanced
Rate plus either 2% or 3% (with the lower rate reserved for borrowers
who are from North Dakota or who enrolled at a North Dakota college)
and then calculating the weighted average of the interest rates on the
loans, rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of a point.
A 2% fee is charged on any non-DEAL private student loans included in
the DEAL consolidation loan.
The repayment term may be up to 25 years depending on the loan balance.
Cosigner release option after 24 months of on-time payments, provided
that credit criteria are satisfied.
|NextStudent Private Consolidation Loan
NextStudent has temporarily suspended this private consolidation loan program.
$7,500 minimum. $300,000 maximum.
Up to 30-year term. No prepayment penalties. Variable rate loan.
Interest rates of 3-month LIBOR + 1.00% to 3-month LIBOR + 1.75%
during the first year
and 3-month LIBOR + 5.00% to 3-month LIBOR + 5.75% after the first
year. Interest rates vary quarterly.
Origination fees of 0% to 5%. No prepayment penalties.
|SoFi Graduate Loan Refinancing
$5,000 minimum, $200,000 maximum.
5.99% fixed rate (requires auto-debit). No
origination fee. Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years.
No prepayment penalties. Funded in part by alumni investors. (SoFi is
the only lender that will
consolidate federal education loans with private student
loans. This converts the federal loans into private loans that are not
government guaranteed and not eligible for public service loan forgiveness.)
|Student Loan Network Private Loan Consolidation
$10,000 minimum. $300,000 maximum. 20-year term for loans less than
$40,000. Up to 30-year loan term for higher amounts. Variable rate
Interest rates of 3-month LIBOR + 5.00% to 3-month LIBOR + 8.5%.
Origination fees of 1% to 5%.
No prepayment penalties. Cosigner release after 48 on-time payments,
contingent upon primary borrower credit.
|SunTrust Private Loan Consolidation
$75,000 maximum for students who have a Bachelor's degree and $150,000
maximum for students who have a graduate degree. (There is also an
aggregate education debt maximum of $150,000 with a Bachelor's degree
and $250,000 with a graduate degree. The aggregate education debt
limit includes both federal and private student loans.) $7,500
minimum. ($15,001 minimum for borrowers or cosigners residing in Kentucky.)
Choice of a fixed or variable interest rate. The fixed rate ranges
from 5.85% to 10.35%. The variable rate ranges from 1-month LIBOR +
3.85% to 1-month LIBOR + 8.10%. There are no origination fees. Rates
0.25% interest rate reduction for auto-debit. SunTrust Bank customers
receive an additional 0.25% interest rate reduction for making the
auto-debit payments from a SunTrust account.
Repayment terms of 15, 20 or 25 years. No prepayment penalties.
US citizenship or permanent residence is required. Borrowers must have
reached the age of majority for their state and may not reside in
Illinois, Iowa or Wisconsin. Cosigners may not reside in
Illinois. Borrowers must satisfy debt to income ratios and other
Cosigner release after the first 48 consecutive full principal and
interest payments are received on time (no later than ten days after
the due date), contingent upon the primary borrower satisfying credit
criteria on their own. The primary borrower must also be enrolled in
|Wells Fargo Private Consolidation Loan
$5,000 minimum. $40,000 to $100,000 maximum, depending on
credit. Aggregate loan limit of $100,000 (including other education
Up to 15-year term.
Variable rate or fixed rate loan. Interest rates range from Prime + 1.0% to
Prime + 5.75% for variable rate loans
and from 8.5% to 13.3% for fixed rate loans.
Variable rate has a floor rate of 3.25%.
No origination fees.
Up to 0.25% interest rate reduction for auto-debit.
Up to 0.5% interest rate reduction with existing qualifying Wells