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Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Finance
If you are struggling to repay your student loans then you most certainly are not alone. Many times students and graduates that hold student loans look to refinance in order to lower their monthly payments. Before considering this, please read the following article. It may just change your mind.

Refinancing student loans can be a good idea under certain circumstances, but not always. As of late, interest rates have been low but they are in fact rising and most economists agree that they will continue to rise. Most student loans are based on a variable interest rate and will not be locked-in until you refinance or get a loan consolidation.

The option to refinance is only available to those individuals who have established good credit by paying their loans back on time. If you have missed payments or have been late then you can pretty much forget about it. As a rule, refinancing rates are usually offered at 1 or 2 points below what your current rate is. This is to make the loan more attractive, but you must take caution.

It is tempting to pay less per month but oftentimes what was a 5 year loan turns into a 15 year loan. You can, and I highly recommend that you do, avoid this by paying off as much of the principal as possible. This will shorten the life of the loan and the amount of interest that you pay. This is of course ideal in the best of circumstances but in those times when money is tight you can cut back on your payments, even to the minimum.

Student loans are like every other type of bank loan that you receive in the sense that you borrowed the principal upfront and now the true cost of the loan can only be calculated after all of the principal and interest has been paid back in full. That is probably where a great many students find themselves having difficulties. Far too many treat their student loans as if they were free money. No doubt a great many do the same with credit cards as well but that is a subject for a different day.

Student loans are godsend in assisting millions to get their education. They are an integral part of our society and play a huge role in bettering ourselves and the world we live in through education. If you hold a student loan then you owe it to yourself to know exactly where you stand with it and make the proper adjustments if need be. function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }