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well, i suppose that i'm not in all that much of a "hurry" to pay them off, but the thought of lowering my interest rate seems like a great opportunity to leave a bit more money in my pocket each month, which i could use to pay down the debt faster or invest in something else.

my wife and i have been very much LBOM for the past year, and we've managed to eliminate all consumer debt that we had built up for things like paying for our wedding, etc. we've even managed to sock enough money away to save up a few months living expenses and consider making a downpayment on a home. not our dream home, but a start anyway.

since i graduated college i've dreamed about the day on which i'd be debt free (funny as i consider taking a 30-year mortage!), but as someone mentioned on this board, almost everyone is in some kind of debt at all times, we just have to manage it. i have read quite a few good posts since discovering this board today, and i think the idea of keeping the school loans as a "soft" loan is a good perspective that i hadn't thought of. still, i'll probably stick with my overall investment strategy which has been:

1. 15% into 401k
2. $2000/year into Roth IRA
3. ~$2000 per year extra payments on student loans
4. savings for home down payment
5. long term investment other than retirement

but anyway if i can indeed take advantage of a lower rate, i'd probably feel even better about not paying back the loan early, and just throwing money at the other categories.

i've got some more reading to do about what/when/where my options are (i'm going to seriously look into it since you said i'd be eligible), but perhaps i could pick your brain just a bit more ...

what's the catch on these "deals"? are the rates fixed, or variable? (my current rates are variable anyway). i usually find that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. but this could be an exception. what lenders/consolidaters/programs would you recommend i look into?

thanks so much for taking the time to respond!


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