Best Private Student Loan Consolidation Companies - Private student loan lenders do not forgive or cancel loans unless special circumstances such as death or permanent injury/disability require it. To add salt to the wound, federal programs like the CARES Act* put in place to provide financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic do not apply to private student loans**. This includes student loans originally funded through private lenders or refinanced loans.
It is also important to note that the federal income-based loan repayment program does not apply to private student loans. Some private lenders may offer similar programs, but it's a good idea to talk to your personal lender if this is something you're particularly interested in.
Best Private Student Loan Consolidation Companies
Not all options are available to you. Private student loan options may seem non-existent, but before you give up hope, remember that most private student loan lenders offer repayment options with some financial assistance if needed.
Federal Student Loan Protections And Their Private Alternatives
*In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the federal government has temporarily suspended student loan payments and waived interest under the CARES Act. Repayments were supposed to resume on Jan. 31, 2021, but that grace period has been extended, though it's unclear how long. It is important to note that federal forbearance or forgiveness programs such as the CARES Act do not apply to private student loans or federal student loans that are refinanced through a private lender.
**Most private student loan lenders have specific Covid-19 response plans, but the details and terms will vary by lender.
While options may vary from lender to lender, here are some common repayment options you can find at loan forgiveness sites:
Most, if not all, private student loan lenders offer refinance services for private and federal student loans. This can be a good option if you want to lower your monthly payments and potentially save a lot on interest.
Best Places To Refinance Student Loans For 2022
In the refinance process, the lender will pay off your original loan and issue a new loan with better rates and terms. Since lenders need to give you a better loan offer, they will want to make sure you are a reliable borrower, which will show in your credit score. So if you want to qualify for the lowest rates and best terms, you need to have a good credit score.
If you do not have established credit or bad credit in general, many lenders will allow you to apply to affiliates, which can increase your chances of approval and help you get better rates and terms.
It is important to note that if you choose to refinance your federal student loans with a private lender, you will lose access to federal repayment options and programs, including student debt relief under the CARES Act, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
A student loan deferment is an agreement between the borrower and the lender that repayments can be reduced or postponed for a certain period of time. This may include interest relief, but specific terms will vary from lender to lender, including how long you can defer payments.
Student Loan Consolidation: Should I Consolidate My Student Loans?
Note that some private lenders use the terms "forbearance" and "forbearance" interchangeably. However, in most cases, loan deferrals are for planned needs for relief, such as returning to school or entering the military. On the other hand, forbearance is most often used when unexpected situations or emergencies arise and require temporary relief.
A common mistake is to confuse student loans with student loan forgiveness, or to assume that they are the same, but they are very different.
Student loan forgiveness cancels your loan, while student loan forgiveness allows you to temporarily stop payments for a period of time (often up to 12 months). It's important to note that interest will continue to accrue on your loan balance during the forbearance period, so it may not be in your best interest to extend forbearance longer than necessary.
To give you a better idea of what the best private student loan companies offer when it comes to debt relief, we have included some information and analysis from customer reviews. Please note that reviews for all companies are limited and usually out of date, so this may not be the most accurate representation of each company.
Refinance Student Loans: 2022 Top Award Winner For Refi
Additionally, student loan deferment is not listed as an option offered by these top private lenders because information on this payment option is not available and varies greatly between companies. If you are looking for a specific deferment option, I recommend speaking directly with your lender or the lender you want to do business with.
As a marketplace lender, all payment options will depend on the lender you choose to borrow from within the trusted network.
Trusted customer reviews are limited and somewhat dated, but most are positive about how quick and easy the refinancing process is and customers can lower their payments and save more money on their student loans.
"Reliability helped me when I really needed it. Their forms were easy to fill out, I got a personalized rate for my situation, and I had the best people working with me to help me find the best solution." — Haley, Salt Lake City, UT
The Best Private Student Loan Refinance Companies Of November 2022
Refinance: Get pre-qualified online, choose rates and terms, and get your new loan. This prequalification process will not affect your credit score.
SoFi's customer reviews are limited and have mixed opinions about the refund process, but many of the 1-star reviews are outdated. The latest and greatest reviews indicate reliable customer service that is committed to helping you pay off your student debt.
"Excellent service! These guys made my life so much easier and got me through my debt problem faster than if I could have done it myself. Thanks for all the hard work!" — Jojo, Jersey City, NJ
Covid-19 Response: For people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, SoFi is offering a forbearance payment of at least 90 days; Initially 60 days with an extension of 30 days if necessary.
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As the pandemic continues, we will continue to provide support and find ways to help our members get their money right and get back on track. During the pandemic, hardship assistance was extended, with a moratorium in 30-day increments, with the option to extend further 30 days at a time if necessary. This program has been very successful in helping members overcome this difficulty.
Refinance: Fill out the application quickly and see your new rate. This prequalification process will not affect your credit score.
It is important to note that CommonBond's reviews are limited. However, most of the past and current reviews of CommonBond are negative, with many customers commenting on some difficulties with customer service, feature issues and lack of transparency.
"I would give an extra star to the CommonBond Care team. They were responsive, but they couldn't fix the problem... The approval process itself may be fast, but once you're approved, the check to pay off your existing loan is sent to the lender... To be fair to customers, CommonBond should disclose this information upfront and not charge interest on new loans until the old loan is paid off.—Aurelia, Woodstock, GA
Private Student Loan Forgiveness Alternatives
Covid-19 Response: CommonBond is offering national disaster forbearance to its members as Covid-19 is classified as a national disaster. This means that payments can be suspended for the duration of the declaration of a national emergency, but interest will still accrue even without membership fees. Additionally, CommonBond has waived all late fees to support its members during this period.
As a marketplace lender, all payment options will depend on the lender you choose to borrow from within the LendKey network.
LendKey's customer reviews are limited and outdated, so it's hard to know what the LendKey loan experience is like right now. However, the majority of recent reviews are negative, mostly noting bad experiences with customer service.
"Consolidated my loan with LendKey when they called themselves ECSI. At first it was great, I got a good rate, then they changed the name, increased the interest rate (and my monthly payment) without warning." — Lori, Elmwood Park, IL
Private Student Loans
Covid-19 Response: Relief options will depend on LendKey's loan partners, but if you can't make your monthly payments, you can apply for forbearance online. In most cases, the options will be discussed and determined individually.
Forbearance: Laurel Road offers forbearance for one or more three months if you are experiencing financial difficulties. In addition, Laurel Road offers forbearance for those affected by natural disasters for up to two months.
Reviews of Laurel Road are limited and outdated, but most reviews are negative and the most common complaint is that it is difficult to get approved even with strong credit.
Pros And Cons Of Student Loan Consolidation
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