This is a post from James Edwards. James is a new graduate out of the state of New York. He has taken a liking to writing in his free time and spread his voice on topics such as student debt, personal finance, and more. Keep an eye out for his new blog (name undecided) that is in the works.
If you have student loan debt, you are definitely not alone. In fact, many students are in the same position as you. There is more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt in the US and the amount continues to grow. No matter the amount of student loan debt you have, you can benefit from refinancing it. Many students do not know much about this option, so they simply overlook it and try to find other ways to pay down their student loans.
Refinancing your student loans means that, if approved, you will receive a lower interest rate, which in return will lower your payments, save you money, and allow you to pay off the amount quicker. Some of the benefits of refinancing include:
-Simplify your monthly bills for student loans
-Shorten the term of your loan
-Save on interest
-Lower your monthly payments
-Change from a fixed to variable rate or vice versa
You may be wondering just how much money you can save simply by refinancing your student loans. This number is personal for everyone, but on average, students who do refinance are able to save anywhere between $10,000 to $25,000 in interest alone. Now, imagine what you could do with all of that extra money.
Let’s delve into this topic a bit more to help you see the benefits and process a little clearer.
Private Bank Refinancing
One of the most important things to consider when you refinance a federal student loan with a private lender is that you will lose federal student loan benefits such as repayment plans, forbearance, etc. If you are okay with this and understand it, then you can proceed to see about refinancing.
Some national banks do offer their own protections in case you cannot afford your payments at the time, so you may be able to freeze your payments or something similar.
Of course, you cannot just simply say you want to refinance your student loans and have it happen to you. There are eligibility requirements that must be met first and sometimes, borrowers will not qualify on their own to refinance.
Some of the most commonly required credentials include:
-Demonstrated ability to afford other debts
-Be in good standing with your current loans
-Received a degree from an accredited college
-Have a solid monthly cash flow
-Be currently employed
-Have a solid employment history
Online Application Process
If you would like to refinance your student loans through a private lender, you can apply online for most of them. If you do need to head into the office, make sure you are prepared with all of the require documentation needed. The application process is usually very easy and simple. In fact, most borrowers say it is straightforward and only takes a couple of minutes to complete.
Before you sit down and proceed to the application, you should make sure that you review the document list to ensure that you have all of the information needed to fill out the application. Some people will get hung up inside of the application because they do not have the answer to a question and this can cause the app to time out or close out and you may have to restart.
For the most part, most applications are the same and will require you to submit a copy of your valid driver’s license or some other form of ID that can be used. You will also need to submit some of your most recent pay stubs to ensure that you do make enough money and can afford payments. In addition, you may be asked to submit tax returns, W-2s, or bank statements. In addition, you may be asked to turn in the statements from your student loans that show how much you owe.
Once you have completed the application, you can submit it and the financial institution will review it. This process typically takes a few days and can take up to a week or so. The financial institution will contact you should they need any additional documentation or clarification on something.
Once a decision has been made in regard to your application, you will be asked to go into the office to sign paperwork and accept the terms. If you have been denied, you will be told what the cause for the denial is. In most cases, it is because you do not meet the minimum criteria and you need a co-signer. Should you have a co-signer available, you will need to reapply with them and this will increase your chances of approval.
If you have received approval, you will be able to choose your interest rate and terms for your loan. You will need to decide if you want a fixed or variable rate and you will also need to determine if you want to extend, keep, or shorten the length of your loan. Each option will affect you a different way, so do make sure you weigh your options closely.
After all documents are signed, you will start to receive a statement from the private lender and will make payments to them from here on out.
What to Think About as You Choose a Private Bank
As you start to look for a private lender, you need to think about some of the things you want in a lender. For example, determine if the lender requires you to pay an origination fee or an early payoff fee. Most lenders do not, but the one you speak with may, so it is wise to double check.
In addition, you should also inquire HOW the lender can help you. Maybe the lender provides financial counseling classes or some other type of program that will teach you some of the financial knowledge you may need.
Final Thoughts on Refinancing Student Loan Debt
Refinancing your student loan debt is relatively easy and you can apply for refinancing online, which makes it quite convenient. It is important to review all information presented to you before you decide.