Does consolidating your student loans hurt your credit

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But if you’re older, wiser, and deeper in debt, how do you attack those student loans?

Specifically, if you find yourself with extra cash, should you pay down student loans early? I recorded this video to very quickly answer why: {Click here if you can’t see the video.} We’re going to get into the pros and cons of repaying student loans early versus hanging onto that money for things like an emergency fund, retirement, a home, or even just having fun.

If you’ve graduated from college or graduate school in the last decade, I don’t need to tell you that college tuition is rising at an unsustainable level or that we are graduating with monstrous student loan debts—to the point that Americans’ total student loan debt has surpassed our credit card debt for the first time in history.

There’s lots of talk about the calculus of return on investment in education.

shows you charts of your loans by balance, payment, and APR, so you know where to focus your payments.

You can also get targeted advice on applying for options like deferments, payment plans, forbearance, or consolidation.

I get plenty of emails from readers with six-figure student loans for degrees in social work who have a very difficult financial road ahead.

Loan consolidation can help if you’ve got lots of different lenders, but it’s not necessary if you’re organized.I made a spreadsheet with all of my student loans, their balances, monthly payments, and interest rates.I then set up automated monthly payments through each student loan servicer’s Website.What they’ve done seems cool so far; I’m not sure it’s necessary if you only have a couple of loans, but if you have a half dozen or more this may definitely help keep them straight. You probably know by now that if you stop paying a credit card bill, your credit score goes down and it will be difficult to get new credit when you need it.

(For those curious, I had student loan interest rates of five percent and 7.6 percent and only made regular payments until my balances were about ,000 each—at which point I paid them off in full.) Usually I prefer to set up automatic payments through my bank’s online billpay because I can control them all in one place.

I made an exception for my student loans for two reasons: If you have several student loans, is a new app that can help you get to that level of organization.

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