By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Several chiropractic students and former students have e-mailed me asking about their student loans and if they should be consolidating student loans. I’ve been there, done the borrowing, and all my student loans are paid, hopefully what I’m sharing is of value to you.
While in school, you may have had several different loans. If you are a borrower with several outstanding student loans, it may benefit you to switch to a federal consolidation loan. The loan allows you to combine all of your eligible student loans into one new loan that has a single monthly payment. A consolidation loan is still a federal loan and it can make repaying your student loans simpler and sometimes more affordable. Not long after I graduated I consolidated all of my loans into one federal consolidation loan. Mine was done through ACS. If you are a loan borrower in grace or repayment and want to reduce your monthly expenses, you may want to consider loan consolidation.
You can always do an online search for student loan consolidation and you’ll find lots of related information, but be careful before making long-lasting financial decisions. If you’re still in school and are just about to graduate you can check with the financial aid department at your current chiropractic college.
Getting your student loans consolidated may be a good idea simply for the fact that you can combine everything into one monthly payment. You’ll have many other things to be concerned with while you’re in chiropractic practice and you don’t need multiple payments to multiple lenders if you can just simply send in one check or make automated payments online.
Some of the loans that may apply to chiropractic students include: Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Parent Loans (PLUS), Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS), Federal Perkins Loans, Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL), and Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL). If I come across others I’ll list them here.
Here is a summary of advantages:
- Lower monthly payment – your monthly payments may decrease since you’ll have more time to pay back your loans. A consolidation loan may allow you to extend the repayment term up to 30 years, depending on your total outstanding chiropractic student loan balance.
- Single monthly payment – you only have to write one check per month to a single lender. You can also make online payments in most cases.
- You and Spouse – you can consolidate your student loans with your spouse’s student loans.
- No prepayment penalty – you can repay your loan sooner without getting penalized (do this whenever possible).
- No fees – there should be no charges to consolidate your loan, if there are, look elsewhere.
- Choice of repayment plans – there are choices such as standard, graduated, or income sensitive payment plans. Which plan you choose depends on how low you want your monthly payments.
Here is a summary of disadvantages:
- Longer repayment period – you will have a longer repayment period due to the extended term which can be up to 30 years (like having a mortgage).
- Increased interests costs – over the life of your loan you may pay more interest (almost certainly will if you go with a thirty year option).
- Limited deferment and forbearance options – you may lose any unused deferment or forbearance period on your existing loans.Again, talk to the people in the financial aid department at the chiropractic school you attended. They will most likely have a student loan consolidation application available. If you are already out of school you may just want to search online. I’ll post more articles and share how I was able to pay off my loans after graduating.The best student loan repayment program that I know of is going to work! That was the model of repayment for every successful chiropractor I know.planetc1.com-news @ 1:23 pm | Article ID: 1145650980