Medloans, THE, and HEAL ... some consolidation too

Discussion in 'Financial Aid' started by Anath, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. Anath

    Anath Senior Member

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    Okay ... I've realized what a headache this whole financial application process is. But anyhoo. Here goes.

    Like many other posters, if you compare rates, and the ability to save the most money in the future, THE has the best deal. So I was going to go with that.

    Then I call FAO and they say to go with Medloans (both THE and Medloans are preferred lenders).

    Whichever one I go with (anyone have any suggestions for why pick Medloans over THE?). Anyhoo .. whichever one I go with, they are both for stafford loans (not alternative loans).
    Will I be able to consolidate my undergraduate stafford loans with either the Medloan Stafford or THE stafford?? I *think* that med school stafford are considered private loans, and so are unable to be consolidated with regular stafford. Is that correct?

    I would love to lock my UG loans in when next week rolls around, but I have been getting mixed answers about being able to consolidate and lock in since I'm going to be a full time student in the fall. the FAO says that I cannot consolidate while I'm still in school, and Sallie Mae (who handles Medloans) says that I *can* consolidate my UG loans right now if I want to. aghhhh. I dunno....

    Oh. And what is HEAL?????? I know what the acronym is (Health Education Assistance Loans) but is that like another lender or something? Or do all loans used for medical school fall under a category of being a HEAL loan?
     
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  3. paean

    paean Senior Member

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    HEAL loans are no longer an option. The gov't discontinued the HEAL program, and instead raised the max UNsubsidized stafford amount for med students to 30K.

    All stafford loans are public, and can be consolidated together. So yes, you can consolidate undergrad with medical staffords.

    If you are in school, the only lender you can use to consolidate is Direct Loans. (Sallie Mae website says they can't consolidate unless you are in grace or repayment, so maybe when you called they thought you were in grace?) If you do consolidate, make sure you wait until your loans for 2002-03 have been disbursed, to lock in those at the lower rate as well.

    As to medloans vs THE, I don't see any reason to go with medloans, except maybe for your fourth year. Someone had a point that they offer loans for interviewing expenses for residencies, which are not part of the regular budget. There is no rule that says you must stick with the same lender the whole time. In fact, someone posted recently that doing so can put you at a disadvantage if you want to consolidate. If you have one lender only, you have to consolidate with them, and can't shop around for incintives.
     
  4. Anath

    Anath Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by paean:
    <strong>HEAL loans are no longer an option. The gov't discontinued the HEAL program, and instead raised the max UNsubsidized stafford amount for med students to 30K.

    All stafford loans are public, and can be consolidated together. So yes, you can consolidate undergrad with medical staffords.

    If you are in school, the only lender you can use to consolidate is Direct Loans. (Sallie Mae website says they can't consolidate unless you are in grace or repayment, so maybe when you called they thought you were in grace?) If you do consolidate, make sure you wait until your loans for 2002-03 have been disbursed, to lock in those at the lower rate as well.

    As to medloans vs THE, I don't see any reason to go with medloans, except maybe for your fourth year. Someone had a point that they offer loans for interviewing expenses for residencies, which are not part of the regular budget. There is no rule that says you must stick with the same lender the whole time. In fact, someone posted recently that doing so can put you at a disadvantage if you want to consolidate. If you have one lender only, you have to consolidate with them, and can't shop around for incintives.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Well, yes, I *am* in my grace period right now. They said that when I get to school, I have to fill out a form for the school to fax to them in order to tell them that I'm still a student again. Although, I don't really understand the difference to them whether I'm in grace or not? Why would I be able to consolidate with Sallie Mae when I'm in grace? Well sheesh. If I *am* able to consolidate, I might just want to wait until I graduate med school b/c you are allowed to consolidate the federal loans only once (unless you get married). (or is that yet another misinformation I've received? &lt;sigh&gt;) It's just that I hate to lose that low interest rate that will roll around next week.

    Do you know if it will be possible to consolidate my UG loans before the next year, and then reconsolidate using another program in the future when I finish med school?
     
  5. paean

    paean Senior Member

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    The rules are odd, but pretty clear if you read all the fine print (I work as a bookkeeper for a law office, so I'm compulsive about reading it).

    1. You can connsolidate if in grace or repayment with any lender (unless all your loans are from one lender, in which case you must first attempt to consolidate with them, and only if they turn you down are you free to choose).

    2. You can consolidate if in school only with direct loans. There are some rules regarding this, especially if you have no loans through them, in their FAQ.

    3. You can only consolidate each loan once (every year you borrow, you get a new loan, but they are sometimes billed as if they are all one, frequently leading to confusion by borrowers).
     
  6. paean

    paean Senior Member

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    4. You can consolidate as many times as you have loans (or as many times as years you borrowed for school), although no one actually does this.

    So you can consolidate this year, and again at the end of medical school. This will lead to you having 2 consolidated loans, the first with undergrad and the first year of medical school (assuming you wait to consolidate to lock in the low rate on M1 loans as well), the second with all the subsequent years of medical school.

    I know that it is convoluted, but you are already well on your way to understanding your options.
     
  7. Anath

    Anath Senior Member

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    hehe -- you sure you don't want to be a financial advisor instead?? Thanks!

    I think I've decided to go with THE. I haven't heard anything elsewhere to convince me otherwise. But I will wait until after Monday when hopefully, the lady will answer my e-mail about why in the world they insist on the Medloan.
     
  8. paean

    paean Senior Member

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    If they anything convincing, will you post it here for the rest of us to see?

    (I'm an information fiend)
     
  9. Anath

    Anath Senior Member

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    will do. :)

    Does anyone know how established/stable THE (or northstar) is? That was the main concern I had about it. From what I can tell, they've only been around since 1999, and personally, I would rather not deal with a company that isn't as established. It would be a major pain in the patooty if the company folded and went bankrupt and we all then had to scramble to save our behinds.
     
  10. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member

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    Bump..

    Any new info?
     

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