Many people need to take out student loans in order to further their education, with the promise of repayment within a certain time frame after getting your degree. This puts a financial burden on graduates who are just starting out in life, and just beginning their careers. Student loan consolidation is now available, to help meet take command of that debt. The following paragraphs will describe what this is, and provide advice on seeking additional information on the subject. When you consolidate you are generally given a longer period of time to repay than you were given with the unconsolidated debt. The time period can be up to 30 years. This means that your payment will often be lower than the total payments you would be making without consolidation. You will often have to pay more interest, though, because the length of the loan is longer. But the interest rate is generally a fixed rate, meaning it will never change throughout the entire duration of you loan. This is a huge advantage, because most are carry a variable fixed rate that can change at any given time. Many resources are available to help you find more information regarding the subject including: · many financial aid offices of learning institutions · many lending institutions · via the world wide web When searching for more information it could also prove to be very helpful to contact the Department of Education (DOE). The DOE commonly offers numerous helpful resources on the subject. If you have any questions regarding student loan consolidation, the DEO can most often help you obtain the answers you need. EASI, or Easy Access For Students and Institutions, is another place you can seek answers to your questions. Their website is located at www.rit.edu/~easi can be very helpful in finding the answers you need about repayment of your debt, even if you do not qualify for student loan consolidation due to default on your original loans. Consolidation has many clear benefits, but before you obligate yourself by signing your name on the dotted line, you should do your research and obtain all the information you can find. In doing so, you will enable yourself to find the best solution available. Know Your Credit Score If your credit score is good, you should not have any problems getting a great rate. If your rating is over 660, you will automatically qualify for the best rates, and you do not have to research any more. But if your rating is under 600, you may want to evaluate ways to raise it before seeking student loan consolidation. Your score is a main factor in determining the type of interest rate you may receive from the lender. If you have good credit, they can believe you will pay back the loan without default. Thus, they will often offer you a lower interest rate. But if your credit is not good, they will give you a higher interest rate to help insure they will receive repayment. If it is very poor, you may not even qualify for student loan consolidation. There are several ways to obtain a copy of your credit report including: · online requests · written requests · by requesting in person Knowing your credit score is the first step in gaining student loan consolidation information. Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have on the subject, the better chance you will have at obtaining the best rates from lenders. Knowing your score can also help you to rid your credit report of reports that should not be there, as well as aid in the prevention of identity theft. Obtaining Information From the Internet With the world wide web gaining in popularity and growing, it is a wonderful tool in helping obtain the best interest rates. Educating yourself on the subject has never been easier. By utilizing any search engine, you can generate vast amounts of information with just a few clicks of the mouse. There are many tools available online, to assist you in finding the best interest rates available. These tools include: · free credit check links · student loan consolidation calculators · interest rate estimators Knowledge is the key in finding the best rates available. The more knowledge you have on the subject, as well as knowing your credit scores, the better your chances of getting a good interest rate.