Many Americans owe tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in federal and private student loans. This significant amount of debt can be overwhelming because of the multiple loans with multiple payments, in addition to the stress of staying current with the minimum monthly payment amounts. If you are one of the people struggling with your student loan debt, then you may have considered consolidating or federal or private student loans.
There are many different lenders who have varying offers for consolidating federal and private student loans, so it is important to take the time to do some research before you choose a lender and pursue consolidation of your student loans.
Federal Student Loans
There are only a few lenders who are legally permitted to offer federal student loan consolidation, and SunTrust is not one of them. If you are overwhelmed with your federal student loan debt, you should consider the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program, as this will allow you to keep the benefits associated with a federal student loan.
Private Student Loans
SunTrust Bank does offer consolidation loans for private student loans and other debts, such as credit cards or auto loans. You may want to consider consolidating your federal loans under the Direct Consolidation Loan program and consolidating your private loans through SunTrust or another lender. Although you will have two monthly payments, this can still reduce your number of payments as well as reducing the monthly payment amount, even if the consolidations are done separately.
Consolidation loans are offered up to $100,000, which is a significantly higher loan maximum than most other lenders offering private student loan consolidation options. The minimum annual percentage rate for this consolidation loan is 5.49%, and the maximum loan term is 84 months. Although this is a completive loan, keep in mind that student loan interest payments are tax-deductible, but if you consolidate your loans, the interest is not tax-deductible.
The application process is simple, and you can apply online or in-store. In most cases, you will receive a response to your application within one business day.
Regardless of the consolidation option you choose, be sure to compare the loan rates to the rates you are currently being charged on your private student loans. The only way a consolidation loan is beneficial is if you receive a lower interest rate than what you are currently paying, and if your monthly payment amount is reduced.