VitaminK

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So my school is horrible in financial aid advising and I'm completely clueless on the consolidation/deferment process. I just recently learned what loans I had out there and the differences in them only through my own research bc the school didn't seem to want to help me. But anyways my question is - can you consolidate private loans? I was always under the impression that you could consolidate and defer all your loans but was told last week that I couldn't with my private loans. I have 200k in federal loans and around 30k in private loans. I will definitely consolidate and defer my federal loans but do I have to start paying on my private loans? What can I do?
 

kstater

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VitaminK said:
So my school is horrible in financial aid advising and I'm completely clueless on the consolidation/deferment process. I just recently learned what loans I had out there and the differences in them only through my own research bc the school didn't seem to want to help me. But anyways my question is - can you consolidate private loans? I was always under the impression that you could consolidate and defer all your loans but was told last week that I couldn't with my private loans. I have 200k in federal loans and around 30k in private loans. I will definitely consolidate and defer my federal loans but do I have to start paying on my private loans? What can I do?

Great question. I have about 73 K in private loans and would like to consolidate. If anyone has ideas, they would be greatly appreciated!
 

usfgator

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As far as I know, you cannot consolidate private loans. You can defer your private loans if this was in the original agreement that you signed and if you meet the requirements. If you cannot defer, then look to see if you can claim forbearance.
 

cammy1313

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usfgator said:
As far as I know, you cannot consolidate private loans. You can defer your private loans if this was in the original agreement that you signed and if you meet the requirements. If you cannot defer, then look to see if you can claim forbearance.
I concur. You cannot consolidate a private loan of any form. Only federal loans (i.e. money from the government).
 

BerlinNeuro

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I've been looking into private loan consolidation for months now. You can consolidate private loans at certain banks (e.g SunTrust, Key Bank, etc..), however, yet so far none of them offer in-school or residency deferment options. It's a rather new option in the past 2-3 years, and they are not government guaranteed so it's a much bigger risk for the banks. Hence, a lot of (if not most) banks only offer fed loans. As per the banks that do offer private consolidation - some offer a year of forbearance after 12 mo. of on-time payments and some of them offer interest only payments for the first 2 years, but you should NOT consolidate them with any federal loans because the interest rates are higher than fed consolidation loans. Just watch to make sure you actually are paying less per month than you would otherwise. If anyone has seen anything good, post it up because I'm on the lookout too.
 

kota315

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I too have been looking into the "private loans" and most offer an extended deferral for doctors.....again, it all depends on where you took the loans out as to how long the deferral is though....Most banks look so favorably on the our profession that they typically give out oans with minimal qualifications.....
 

double elle

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You guys need to go to www.graduateleverage.com

It's a group of MBA students at Harvard that started up this consolidation-information business. Doesn't cost you a thing. They have a presentation you can watch online.

A guy from there came to talk to my med school - it was more than I ever knew. Seriously - a GREAT resource!!!
 

fourthyear

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My private loans I took out in addtion to the federal were through the Sallie Mae Medloans ALP program - these have a "grace period" of 3 years after graduation before you have to start paying. No deferment forms, it's an automatic grace period everyone has. You can choose to pay them sooner if you want, but you don't have to. Interest DOES accrue during this grace period however. Federal loans have a 6 month grace period, but I had no idea that the private loans had 3 years until I graduated and my online loan information updated and told me 3 years. Good news.
 

asclepiad

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Actually you can consolidate private loans. However, it is recommended that you consolidate your federal loans first because this will increase your credit rating. Then at a later date you can consolidate your private loans and the interest rate you pay at that time is dependent on your credit rating (the better the credit the lower interest you will pay). So it is to your benefit to consolidate federal first. I am still looking into more details on this. As soon as I find something I will post it.
 

miamidc

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On the same token, if you can consolidate private loanes, can you throw in the credit card debt as well? I would imagine it is the same for the banks, right? They are basically paying off your debt, and now charging you their interest which is how they are making money. I have $20,000+ in CCs and will not be able to live if I have to pay them and my privates. Please let me know, anybody.
 

LR4445

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1. Can this be done only once whether you go to grad school or not,
or can you consolidate once after undergrad and then again after med school

2. If someone plans to go to grad school, after a few years of graduation in undergrad, is it better NOT to consolidate, until after finishing grad school.