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Is a bridging loan the right solution for our homebuying needs? #free #mortgage #calculator


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Is a bridging loan the right solution for our homebuying needs?

Q We own a property outright valued between 475,000 and 495,000, but it does not have the accommodation we require. We have seen another nearby that would be almost ideal for our needs once it was extended and modernised. The asking price is 300,000, but I think an offer of 280,000 would be accepted. I estimate the cost of extending and modernising would be around 60,000- 70,000.

My wife is 64 and retired. I am 63 this year and partially disabled, but I work part time as a director and co-owner of a small business. Our combined income is a very modest 20,000- 24,000. I have occupational pensions with a total pot value of 85,000 that could be taken now, and we have 25,000 in equity Isas, 7,000 in cash Isas and 5,000 in savings. My state pension is payable from 2014 and is presently estimated to be in excess of 9,000 a year.

I think we could finance this project with a bridging loan of up to 350,000, that we would require for a period of up to nine months. We are fortunate our present home is in a very desirable location and our local estate agents all confident it would sell quickly once marketed, and would achieve the upper end of the valuation.

Do you think a bridging loan is a feasible and cost-effective source of finance, and if so can you recommend any lenders? Alternatively, what other sources of funding could you suggest? JJ

A Because lenders consider your personal circumstances less important than when considering a conventional residential mortgage, a bridging loan is certainly feasible for you – but it’s hardly cost effective.

Costs vary from lender to lender but are likely to include an arrangement fee of 1.5%, legal fees and interest on the loan, which could be anything between 1% and 2% a month – so between 12% and 24% a year.

In your case, if you raised a bridging loan of 350,000 (assuming a purchase price of 280,000 plus 70,000 for building works) secured on your current home (assuming a value of 475,000), you could pay an arrangement fee of 5,250 plus that amount in interest for each of the nine months you would have the loan. In total, the fees plus interest would come to 52,500.

You could cut the cost of the loan by using both properties as security for the loan. But even then you would pay a total of nearly 29,000 in fees and monthly interest. I can’t help feeling you would be better off selling your current home, buying the new property outright with cash and renting somewhere to live while the building work is done.


Is a guarantor loan right for you? #unsecured #debt #consolidation #loans


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Is a guarantor loan right for you?

    Thursday 8 May 2014 17:22 BST

If you don’t have much of a credit history or you have bad credit, getting a loan can be difficult. You’ll either struggle to get a loan in the first place, or you’ll end up paying such a high rate of interest, you could easily land yourself with serious debt issues. Quite recently a new type of loan has been introduced in the UK. A guarantor loan allows you to take out a loan, where a second person acts a guarantor.

Below is a quick and easy guide to the most common questions regarding guarantor loans.

What is a guarantor loan?

Guarantor loans are unsecured loans that require a second person to act as a guarantor. Guarantor loans can be over terms of one to five years and you can borrow anywhere between £1,000 to £7,500. They offer an ideal solution for people with bad credit, who would otherwise be unable to obtain a loan. Guarantor loans are not payday loans, the interest is much lower and you will not be charged any up front or arrangement fees.

Is a guarantor loan right for me?

If you have a bad credit history or have been rejected by other lenders, then guarantor loans could be the right choice for you. A guarantor loan also allows you to borrow a higher sum than you would be able to with other types of loans targeting people with poor credit. It’s also possible to rebuild your credit history by demonstrating that you are a responsible borrower and are able to make the repayments on time.

How can I apply for a guarantor loan?

Firstly like all loan applications, you must be over 18 years old and have a UK bank account where the repayments can be collected. You will still need to show that you can afford the repayments and that you are capable of paying the loan back in a timely fashion.

Who can act as a guarantor for me?

Almost anyone can act as your guarantor, as long as they are not financially linked to you (i.e. spouse). A guarantor could be a family member, friend or even work colleague. For your guarantor to be accepted they will usually need to be over 21 with a good credit history and also be a UK home owner. Checks on your guarantor are usually identical to normal credit checks – they will need to provide bank statements, bank details and proof of ID.

How much interest will I pay?

Interest is more than likely to be higher than a loan where a good credit history is needed. The APR of guarantor loans varies depending on the company, but the APR is usually around 50 per cent. It’s important to remember that although this is relatively high, it does represent the risk undertaken by the lender. You’ll also find that this is one of the lowest APRs available to people with bad credit history. Many other ‘bad credit’ loans, such as payday loans charge APR upwards of 1,000 per cent. Although the APR is higher, a guarantor loan, when paid back on time, is a great way to improve your credit score and improve your overall credit rating.

How do I choose the best guarantor loan?

Several companies have begun offering guarantor loans. The two most important factors to take into consideration are the interest you will pay and any other hidden fees. Guarantor loans from www.gbploans.com offer some of the most competitive rates currently available and they are also very up-front about everything. There are no hidden fees or extra charges throughout the period of your loan.

A guarantor loan isn’t for everyone, but if you credit history is poor and you’re in need of some extra cash, they can be a great solution.

Hugh Tyzack is founder and managing director of GBP Loans Limited, which was formed in 2008. GBP Loans specialises in no fee guarantor loans. GBP Loans has been a driving force in trying to eradicate bogus fee charging and is now one of the UK’s biggest providers.


Wedding Loans – Choosing The Right Option For You #loan #calculator #uk


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Whatever you need a loan for, our Smart Search can help:

SECURED LOANS: YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE, LOAN OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.

Wedding loans guide

A wedding is a joyful occasion (or should be!). But, as all recently married couples know, it can also be a very expensive one.

Most weddings nowadays cost between 18,000 and 22,000, so it is hardly surprising that a lot of loved-up couples need to borrow to cover the cost of their nuptials. A low-interest personal loan is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to fund your big day.

But is it the right way for you? Here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of using a loan to pay for a wedding, as well as some tips on finding the best deal and a few alternative suggestions.

Advantages of a wedding loan

While most people are able to put some money towards the cost of getting married, the average cost of about 20,000 is out of reach for many couples. A personal loan offering the chance to borrow up to 15,000 over five years, for example, is a popular means of making up the shortfall.

You can currently borrow between 7,500 and 15,000 at an interest rate of around 5%. This makes a loan of this kind a relatively cheap way to access extra funds to cover the cost of your wedding.

Another benefit of taking out a personal loan is that your payments are fixed so you can budget accordingly. You can also choose a loan with a term of between one and five (or at least three) years.

Repaying the loan within a shorter timeframe (if you can afford to) means you will pay less interest overall. A longer timeframe means a higher total interest bill, but each monthly repayment will be smaller (there ll just be more of them).

What s more, you can sometimes take a payment holiday of say two or three months at the start of the agreement, giving you a bit of financial breathing space if you need it as you settle into your new life of married bliss.

Disadvantages of a wedding loan

A wedding loan with an interest rate of 5% or thereabouts is a very attractive proposition. However, the rates available for those needing to borrow under 7,500 or more than 15,000 generally tend to be higher.

Lenders take your credit score into account when deciding what interest rate to charge you and how much you can borrow. If you have a poor credit history, this might mean you are unable to borrow at the market-leading rates.

Only people with high credit scores will be accepted for the best deals, while those with black marks will be offered a higher interest rate or refused credit altogether.

If you are unsure about your credit score, it may therefore make sense to sign up for a free credit file checking service before applying for a wedding loan especially as rejected applications will further damage your file.

Remember too that many of the top personal loan deals also require you to fulfil certain criteria for example being a supermarket rewards cardholder to qualify for the headline interest rate.

Alternatives to a wedding loan

Many of the top credit cards available today offer 0% for an introductory period on balance transfers or purchases or, in some cases, both. If you are disciplined enough, you can therefore borrow the money to pay for at least some of your wedding completely free of charge.

This is a great option for anyone needing to borrow a smaller amount particularly given the higher interest rates on personal loans of under 7,500.

Borrowing on a 0% credit card can prove very costly if you get it wrong, though. Not only do you have to remember when the 0% deal comes to an end to avoid being hit with double-digit interest charges, the fact there are no fixed monthly payments can make it harder to manage your repayment plan after the big day. Discipline is required!

Finding the right wedding loan

Whatever type of loan you choose, shopping around for the cheapest deal is the best way to ensure that you pay as little as possible for credit.

You can do this quickly and easily by using the MoneySupermarket loans channel to compare hundreds of different loans from a wide range of lenders.

The Help me find a loan tool can speed up the process of finding the best deals for your individual circumstances even more all you have to do is enter a few details such as your name, your annual income and the amount you want to borrow.

Moneysupermarket is a credit broker this means we ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders though the size of that payment doesn t affect how we show products to customers.


Social Engineering – Is It Ethical? #do #the #right #thing,ethical,ethical #and #moral #compass,ethics,grey #area,manipulation,social #engineering,body #language,hypnosis,influence,magic,mentalism,misdirection,nlp,subliminal #hacking


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Social Engineering Is It Ethical??

When I speak to people (non Infosec passionate types) about the work and research I do around the content I post on Head Hacker, I normally get a few responses. Shock, Disgust and Intrigue. People are shocked because they are not aware of some of these skills and process, they are disgusted because it’s not right, it’s not ethical, and a breach of human rights, and then we have the intrigue as I start to really explain what it’s all about, and what I am doing. People are curious of how this knowledge can help and protect them.

So this got me thinking, perhaps I should write a post on why I think people think social engineering is unethical, and why I consider the majority to be ethical, I do think in some circumstances there is a grey area. I have asked quite a few people about their ethical standpoint when it comes to social engineering, as I have on a couple of occasions had semi heated discussions with organisations about techniques that can and can’t be used on an engagement. I personally find most professionals ethical in their approach, but some comments from some do make me shudder. I am confident in the fact that I only operate in areas where I feel comfortable that I will be operating in an ethical manner, other areas I have not quite figured out continue to be researched and debated both internally and externally.

In the research I have done on ethics of social engineering, I have really not found there to be anything about, perhaps people don’t care? I think it is a real issue that all professionals should consider, and take time to reflect upon.

Why people think Social Engineering is unethical .

In my experience most people say social engineering is unethical because you are tricking, or conning someone, stealing data about them, using the information to access sensitive information, get free stuff, gain entry and generally manipulate people to do things, or disclose information. I totally understand this thought process, and in a way I think they are correct, there are people out there doing this, and they are both good and very effective with the skills they have, they have become life time criminals.

The key issue here is the perception and it’s a negative one. Not everyone uses their knowledge and skills for breaking the law, they use their skills and knowledge to better the populous, inform and educate to make people less likely to become a victim. The truth of the matter is, you don t really stand a chance of beating the bad guys unless you are exposing yourself to the same skills, tools and environments.

In an effort to draw an example, medicine can be used to cure and relieve pain in the right hands. The same medicine in the wrong hands and with the wrong intent can be used to inflict pain, and even kill. Knowledge, process, tools, etc can all be used for positive and negative, it’s the individual who is responsible for the actions and result.

Why and how I think Social Engineering can be ethical .

The first reason I think social engineering is ethical is due to the intent. Now I am not saying that the outcome of the exercise may enable someone to do something malicious, but I don t think this is a justifiable reason not to gain knowledge, research, test and experiment. If we never did this, the human race wouldn t evolve. So I feel that any social engineering engagement or activity I undertake or become involved in is for a positive outcome and where appropriate I always seek permission at a high level, and understand any specific areas that are no go, as well as using my own common sense and experiences to guide me. People intentionally manipulate people every day; we have all been doing this since birth. We all have different reasons for manipulation; perhaps we feel it would be best for the person, or best for us. When we negotiate to get a reduction on an item we are buying, this is a form of manipulation, but as we feel we are not harming anyone, it’s considered ethically and morally ok.

So I feel that if you are researching, carrying out SE with permission, and using the information to benefit people, and educate and bring awareness it can be ethical, and this is certainly how I believe I go about things.

So there are some grey areas. Can an organisation give you permission to manipulate and extract information from the staff they employ? Should people who are subject to social engineering activities be punished for being the weak link in the chain? If you gain generic permission, let’s say to hypnotise, then you use this permission to extract sensitive data, is that ok? I am sure we can all think of many more situations that are not so clear.

To be honest, when it comes to these grey areas I am not sure on all the answers. However I try to limit these grey areas by defining up front in an appropriate level of detail what could happen as part of the assessment, types of scenarios and ways to extract data, and that individuals will not be named in reports. Obviously the company may use other techniques to help identify how this information was gained, but that is outside my scope of responsibility. So to that end I would say that I am operating in an ethical manner, and so would anyone else that has considered the above issues. When in doubt don’t do it, if your internal ethical and moral compass is unable to guide you, get additional information and input from others who are in an informed and experienced position.

I certainly don t think the grey areas are reasons not to carry out social engineering engagements, the criminals are not concerned about ethics, and to test we need to adopt this mindset to a certain degree. It is also important to share our thoughts and research, and we have to let the individuals dig further and use this information as they feel is most appropriate.

So to conclude, if you are interested in social engineering, and you want to work with, investigate and research the skills associated, do so in a professional and ethical manner, be mindful of what you’re planning, put yourself in the subject’s position, how would you feel if someone did to you, what you are planning on doing to them. If you’re happy, then its most like a good sign you will be operating in an ethical manner.

No one has all the answers, but it’s a conversation worth having, and to continually question is a good thing. I hope people reading this will want to share their thoughts and experiences, so I welcome and look forward to reading your comments.

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Secured Loans Quotes – Choosing the Right Loan #department #of #education #loan #consolidation


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There are however some hints of how the right loan should look like. Firstly, let s take the secured loan, where you offer as collateral your own property.

If you go with a home equity loan . you should check that the lender does offer you a reasonable amount in exchange for your equity.

This means. that if your equity equals say 60,000, the amount you receive from the lender exceeds 70%-75% of this sum. Anything below this percentage will not constitute a good loan for you. Then, you must have a look at the overall cost of the loan, and not only the amount itself.

The best deal on auto loan is calculated by taking into account the principal amount, the loan repayment period and the interest rate. Don t forget to have a look at these factors before getting settled for any loan financer. A large number of fantastic deal offers are already available in the market with convenient payment options.

If, calculating interest payments. the possible late payment fees and the arrangement fee itself, and adding these up exceeds well 10-15% of the total loan amount, that will constitute an expensive loan option for you.

The home equity line of credit comes with a bit higher interest rate payments, but still the extra costs should not exceed 15-20% of the total initial amount.


Is a bridging loan the right solution for our homebuying needs? #direct #lenders #for #payday #loans


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Is a bridging loan the right solution for our homebuying needs?

Q We own a property outright valued between 475,000 and 495,000, but it does not have the accommodation we require. We have seen another nearby that would be almost ideal for our needs once it was extended and modernised. The asking price is 300,000, but I think an offer of 280,000 would be accepted. I estimate the cost of extending and modernising would be around 60,000- 70,000.

My wife is 64 and retired. I am 63 this year and partially disabled, but I work part time as a director and co-owner of a small business. Our combined income is a very modest 20,000- 24,000. I have occupational pensions with a total pot value of 85,000 that could be taken now, and we have 25,000 in equity Isas, 7,000 in cash Isas and 5,000 in savings. My state pension is payable from 2014 and is presently estimated to be in excess of 9,000 a year.

I think we could finance this project with a bridging loan of up to 350,000, that we would require for a period of up to nine months. We are fortunate our present home is in a very desirable location and our local estate agents all confident it would sell quickly once marketed, and would achieve the upper end of the valuation.

Do you think a bridging loan is a feasible and cost-effective source of finance, and if so can you recommend any lenders? Alternatively, what other sources of funding could you suggest? JJ

A Because lenders consider your personal circumstances less important than when considering a conventional residential mortgage, a bridging loan is certainly feasible for you – but it’s hardly cost effective.

Costs vary from lender to lender but are likely to include an arrangement fee of 1.5%, legal fees and interest on the loan, which could be anything between 1% and 2% a month – so between 12% and 24% a year.

In your case, if you raised a bridging loan of 350,000 (assuming a purchase price of 280,000 plus 70,000 for building works) secured on your current home (assuming a value of 475,000), you could pay an arrangement fee of 5,250 plus that amount in interest for each of the nine months you would have the loan. In total, the fees plus interest would come to 52,500.

You could cut the cost of the loan by using both properties as security for the loan. But even then you would pay a total of nearly 29,000 in fees and monthly interest. I can’t help feeling you would be better off selling your current home, buying the new property outright with cash and renting somewhere to live while the building work is done.


Is Student Loan Consolidation Right for You? #subsidized #student #loans


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Is Student Loan Consolidation Right for You?

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine multiple federal education loans into one loan. Before making the decision to consolidate your loans, you’ll want to carefully consider whether loan consolidation is the best option for you. Keep in mind, once your loans are combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan, they cannot be removed.

FACT: You never have to pay to consolidate your student loans. If you have questions about consolidation, contact your loan servicer.

Advantages of consolidating your student loans:

It’s free to apply to consolidate your federal student loans. If you are contacted by someone offering to consolidate your loans for a fee, you are not dealing with the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Simplified Payments
    You’ll have a single monthly payment and a single lender (the U.S. Department of Education) instead of multiple payments and multiple lenders.
  • Lower Monthly Payments
    You may get a longer time to repay your loans, often resulting in lower monthly payments.
  • Qualify for Income-Driven Repayment or Loan Forgiveness
  • Some benefits such as the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program are only available for Direct Loans. If you choose to consolidate your Federal Family Education Loan Program loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, you may be able to take advantage of these programs.

    • Fixed Interest Rate

    Direct Consolidation Loans have a fixed interest rate, meaning your interest rate won’t change year to year. The fixed interest rate is based on the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.

    Disadvantages of consolidating your student loans:

    • More Interest Paid Over Time

    You will likely pay more money in interest over the life of the loan. The amount of time you have to repay your Direct Consolidation Loan can vary from 10-30 years depending on the amount of your Direct Consolidation Loan and the amount of your other student loan debt. The longer it takes to repay your loan, the more you will make in interest payments.

  • Loss of Borrower Benefits

    You may lose any borrower benefits, such as interest rate discounts, principal rebates, or some loan cancellation benefits, offered with the original loans.

  • In weighing your options, be sure to compare your current monthly payments to what your monthly payments would be if you consolidated your loans. If you’re just interested in temporarily lowering your monthly payment, consolidation might not be the answer.  Contact your loan servicer  to consider alternative options such as switching repayment plans or requesting a deferment or forbearance .

    To find out more information about loan consolidation, including eligibility requirements, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/consolidation .

    Tara Marini is a communication analyst at the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.


    Installment Loans: Simple, but not Always the Right Choice #medical #loans


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    Installment Loans

    By Justin Pritchard. Banking/Loans Expert

    Justin Pritchard helps consumers navigate the world of banking.

    With an installment loan, you borrow once (up-front) and repay according to a schedule. Mortgages and auto loans are typical installment loans. Your payment is calculated using a loan balance. an interest rate. and the time you have to repay the loan.

    Simple and Steady

    In contrast, credit card payments can vary: you only pay if you used the card, and your required payment can vary greatly depending on how much you spent recently.

    In many cases, installment loan payments are fixed, meaning they don t change at all from month to month. That makes it easy to plan ahead: your monthly payment will always be the same (see How to Calculate Loan Payments for a formula and calculators). With variable-rate loans, the interest rate can change over time, so your payment will change along with the rate.

    With each payment, you reduce your loan balance and pay interest costs. These costs are baked into your payment calculation when the loan is made. To see how this happens in detail, learn how amortization works .

    Installment loans are the easiest to understand because very little changes after they’re set up – especially if you have a fixed-rate loan. You’ll know (more or less) how much to budget for each month. However, if you make extra payments (with a large lump sum, for example) you may be able to lower your payments with a recast .

    Continue Reading Below

    Installment Loans and Credit

    Using installment loans can help your credit. A healthy mix of different types of debt tends to lead to the highest credit scores, and installment loans should be part of that mix. These loans suggest that you’re a savvy borrower – if you fund everything with credit cards you’re probably paying too much.

    Don’t go crazy with installment loans; use only what you need. A home loan, a student loan, and perhaps an auto loan are sufficient. Some installment loans can actually hurt your credit. If you use finance companies (at rent-to-own establishments or retail stores, for example) your credit scores are likely to fall.

    Installment and Payday Loans

    In recent years installment loans have become popular with borrowers who have bad credit. These loans are offered at payday lending shops and advertised as a way to get out of a short-term cash crunch. Unfortunately, they re often just about as expensive as payday loans .

    If you re looking at an installment loan that lasts less than a year, be careful. There s a good chance that it s an expensive loan, and you can probably do better with a personal loan from your bank or credit union. If you can t qualify for a loan from a traditional bank or credit union. an installment loan from a payday lender might be your only option, but these loans can lead to trouble. Watch for high interest rates and additional products (like insurance) that you might not need.

    On the bright side, some installment loans are more friendly than payday loans – even if you get the loan from a payday lending shop. Installment loans can help you build credit if your payments are reported to credit bureaus (and then you can stop using payday loan shops). What s more, you make regular payments to pay off installment loans gradually, instead of dealing with the shock of a balloon payment .

    That said, if you treat installment loans like payday loans (if you keep refinancing to extend the final repayment date), you ll find that your debt burden only grows.


    Is Federal Student Loan Consolidation Right for You? The Motley Fool #poor #credit #loan


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    Is Federal Student Loan Consolidation Right for You?

    Consolidating your student loans definitely has some benefits, but there might be some potential drawbacks you need to be aware of.

    Oct 25, 2014 at 4:15PM

    If you took out student loans during most of your college career, odds are you ended up (or will end up) with a bunch of individual loans. This could cause lots of confusion, involving everything from your repayment options to how much interest you’re accruing.

    Fortunately, there is an option called a Direct Consolidation Loan, which allows you to consolidate your Federal student loans for no additional charge. However, there are a few things you should consider before applying for this program.

    About consolidating

    The Direct Consolidation Loan was designed to combine all of a borrower’s Federal student loans into one. And unlike what you’re likely to find at a bank, Direct Consolidation Loans have no application fees, and they can be repaid at any time without penalty.

    Eligible loans include, but are not limited to, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Nursing Loans, and existing consolidation loans. Private student loans cannot be combined with Federal loans in a Direct Consolidation Loan.

    Most borrowers are eligible for consolidation as soon as they graduate, leave school, or when their enrollment drops below half-time. And, the application process can be started by logging on to StudentLoans.gov .

    There are some good reasons to consolidate

    Perhaps the best reason to consolidate your student loans is that it makes your life a whole lot easier. Instead of several different payment amounts and interest rates to worry about, a Direct Consolidation Loan combines all of your loans into one bill.

    And, you can actually lower your monthly payment amount. Depending on your total loan balance, consolidating can increase your repayment term from the standard 10 years to as long as 30 years. On $50,000 worth of student loans at 6% interest, this can mean the difference between monthly payments of $555 and $300.

    If any of your loans are on variable interest rates, consolidation gives you the chance to switch to a fixed rate. This can be a huge benefit, especially now, when interest rates are still near historical lows. All Direct Consolidation Loans have fixed rates based on the weighted average of the interest rates of all of the loans being consolidated.

    However, make sure you know what you’re agreeing to

    There are some potentially negative aspects of consolidating. For example, while a longer repayment term can definitely lower your payments, it can also mean you’ll pay thousands more in interest over the life of the loan.

    For example, if you have $30,000 in outstanding student loans at 6% interest, you’ll end up paying just under $10,000 in interest over the course of your repayment. However, if you switch that to, say, a 20-year repayment plan, the amount of interest you’ll end up paying soars to about $21,600. So, even though your monthly payment will be about 33% less, the total cost of borrowing the money becomes more than twice as expensive.

    And, you could lose any borrower benefits specific to your original loans, such as interest rate discounts or some loan cancellation benefits. These do not stay with the loan when your balances are consolidated.

    However, this does not include benefits of income-sensitive repayment plans like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness. Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for these repayment plans, such as Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Pay-As-You-Earn, and are eligible for any benefits specific to those repayment plans.

    It’s permanent, so be 100% sure before you agree

    Before you make a decision, I should definitely stress that a Direct Consolidation Loan is not reversible. Just like when you refinance a mortgage, the original loans are paid off and don’t exist any longer.

    Consolidating your Federal student loans definitely has its advantages, especially if you have a bunch of individual loans, or if any of your student debt has a variable interest rate. Just make sure consolidating won’t do you more harm than good before you agree to it.

    What to do with the money you save by consolidating

    The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend paying counterparts over the long term. That’s beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor’s portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here .