No. of Recommendations: 1
I agree with what danbobtx wrote:
If I understand correctly, these are all federal loans.
If you consolidate them as federal loans, and not with a private loan, you maintain the advantages of federal loans -

including the potential for:
income based repayment plans
deferment and forbearance
discharge in the death of the responsible person

I would not consolidate outside of the federal program, and would tend not to use a 0% balance transfer offer on any of them. I might be tempted to use a 1.99% for the life of the balance, but I would be leary of cash flow - does the CC company expect 2% per month, 5% per month or some other payment that would be larger than what you have to pay on the loan?


Also, one of the advantages of a consolidated loan is that you can have different payment plans. This means that a larger consolidated balance can be repaid over a longer term than an individual one. While this flies in the face of paying less interest and getting your loan paid off earlier, this can give you flexibility if you go thru periods of lower income or transition between grad school and full-time employment.

One question I will ask is whether you have a cash emergency fund built up yet? That could be more important than scraping up an extra $100-200 to pay towards a loan. Having the emergency fund will ensure that you don't need to turn to your credit cards to pay for things (car repairs, etc.).

Also, when I left grad school for full-time employment my budget actually got tighter. I moved to a place with a higher cost of living and had more medical insurance, taxes and other expenses. Add to that the student loan repayments. I was really at the end of the month counting my change for a year or two. This was a surprise considering I was making 3x what I made in grad school. :) Your situation may be very different but I figured I would mention this.
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.