If you’re making payments on private or federal student loans, or a combination of both, you may have considered refinancing or consolidating them. There can be numerous advantages, but when is the right time to refinance? You generally need to be in grace or repayment on one or more student loans after graduation or separation from school to refinance. Once you’ve reached that point, here are a few specific opportunities to consider:
1. WHEN INTEREST RATES ARE LOWER THAN YOUR EXISTING RATE(S).
Rates are currently at historic lows, so you may want to lock in a better interest rate before they go up again. Check the rates on your current loans, as well as whether you have a fixed or variable rate. Many sites offer calculators to help determine what your savings could be long term.
2. WHEN YOU WANT TO SHORTEN OR EXTEND THE LENGTH OF TIME YOU’LL BE MAKING PAYMENTS.
Extending your repayment terms can lower your monthly required payment (though you’ll still be paying interest for the life of the loan and could pay more out of pocket in the long run). Alternatively, you could choose a shorter repayment term to pay off your loans sooner, though this may also be possible if you make more than your minimum monthly payment on a current loan (assuming there are no pre-payment penalties).
3. WHEN YOU WANT ALL YOUR STUDENT LOANS UNDER YOUR OWN NAME.
Students often do not have the credit history necessary to qualify for a loan on their own. A co-borrower may sign for the loan, or a parent may take out a federal Parent PLUS loan in their own name. If your current loan doesn’t have a co-borrower release option, refinancing and consolidating your loans is one way to get all your student loans under your name and credit history.
It’s important to remember that every student loan situation is unique. There are many factors to consider when refinancing student loans, including a possible loss of loan benefits for any federal student loans you currently hold. If you need help weighing your options for student loan refinance, our experts can provide information via email or phone.
Consider a Refinance with Elements Financial
There's no reason to make multiple loan payments when you can consolidate private and federal loans, including PLUS loans.
- Refinance up to $125,000
- Refinance your private or federal student loans, including PLUS, and Parent PLUS loans
- Co-borrower not required, yet qualified co-borrower could result in lower interest rate
- Co-borrower release with 48 months of consecutive monthly on-time payments
- 25% rate discount during repayment for automated electronic payments
- Fixed Rate and Variable Rate loan options