Advice for consolidating debt

It's six months for federal Stafford loans (sometimes called Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans), but nine months for federal Perkins loans.

For federal PLUS loans, you probably have access to a six-month deferment (see details here and here). Stay in Touch with Your Lender: Whenever you move or change your phone number or email address, tell your lender right away.

Most people do this to reduce the interest rate on their debt, to bring down their monthly payment amount or to reduce the number of companies they owe money to.

Debt consolidation can be a useful strategy in some situations but for many it can involve extra costs, and potentially makes a difficult situation much worse.

If you're having trouble finding a job or keeping up with your payments, there's important information here for you, too. Know Your Loans: It's important to keep track of the lender, balance, and repayment status for each of your student loans.

These details determine your options for loan repayment and forgiveness. You can log in and see the loan amounts, lender(s), and repayment status for all of your federal loans.

I usually find setting a goal of paying down debt in 36 months or less works best for people.

Fill in the loan amounts, credit card balances and other outstanding debt.

While consolidating debt often sounds like a promising solution, this could make your situation worse.

Consolidating debt usually involves taking out new credit to pay off existing credit.

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice.

We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regard to your individual circumstances.

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