Private Student Loan Consolidation Company - Private student loan lenders do not forgive or cancel loans unless necessary in extreme circumstances such as death or permanent injury/disability. 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**. It basically includes student loans financed through private lenders or refinance loans.
It is also important to note that the federal loan repayment program does not apply to private student loans. Some private lenders may offer similar programs, but it is recommended to speak with your personal loan provider if this is of particular interest to you.
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With all the options available to you, private student loan relief options may seem non-existent, but before you give up all hope, know that most private student loan lenders have payment options available, providing some financial assistance when needed.
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* In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the federal government has temporarily suspended student loan payments and waived interest through the CARES Act. Payments were set to resume on January 31, 2021 but this grace period has been extended, although it is not clear for 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 have been refinanced through a private lender.
**Many private student loan lenders have specific COVID-19 response plans, but the details and terms will vary by lender.
Although options may vary by lender, here are some common payment options you can look into in lieu of loan forgiveness:
Most, if not all, private student loan lenders offer refinancing 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 of interest.
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In the refinancing process, the lender will pay off your original loan and give you a new loan with better rates and terms. Lenders want to get you a good deal on your loan, they want to make sure you are a reliable borrower, which will be reflected in your credit score. Therefore, if you want to qualify for the lowest rates and best terms possible, you need an excellent credit score.
If you don't have a good credit history or bad credit, many lenders will allow you to apply with a cosigner which can increase your chances of qualifying, as well as 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 loan relief under the CARES Act, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Student loan deferment is an agreement between the borrower and the lender to reduce or postpone payments for a period of time. This may include a temporary interest freeze, but the exact terms will vary by lender, including how long you can defer payments.
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Note that some private lenders use the terms "forbearance" and "forbearance" interchangeably. However, in most cases, loan deferment refers to a planned need for relief, such as returning to school or entering the military. On the other hand, forbearance is often used when unforeseen circumstances or emergencies occur and temporary relief is required.
It is a common mistake to confuse student loan forbearance with student loan forgiveness, or to assume that they are the same, but they are very different.
Student loan forgiveness basically cancels your debt, while student loan forbearance allows you to temporarily stop payments for a period of time (often up to 12 months). It is important to note that interest will continue to accrue on your loan balance during the forbearance period, and therefore extending the forbearance period longer than necessary may not be in your best interest.
To give you a deeper idea of what private student loan companies offer in terms of debt relief options, we've included some information and analysis from customer reviews. Please note that reviews for all companies are limited and usually out of date, so they may not be the most accurate representation of each company.
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Additionally, student loan deferment is not yet listed as an option offered by these top private lenders, as there is no easily accessible information on this payment option, and it varies greatly between companies. If you are looking for a specific deferment option, I recommend talking directly with your lender, or any lender you want to do business with.
As a marketplace lender, any payment options will depend on which lender you choose to borrow from in Credible's network.
Trusted customer reviews are limited and somewhat dated, but most are positive, talking about the quick and easy payment process and how 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 to work with to help me find the best option." - Haley, Salt Lake City, UT
Refinance Your Student Loan
Refinance: Get pre-qualified online, choose your rate and terms, and get your new loan. This approval process does not affect your credit score.
SoFi customer reviews are limited and have a mixed bag of feelings about the refinancing process, but many 1-star reviews are outdated. Most recent, and many reviews emphasize reliable customer service that is committed to helping you pay off your student loans.
"Excellent service! These guys made my life so much easier and allowed me to settle my loan faster than I could have handled it myself. Thanks for all your hard work!" - JoJo, Jersey City, NJ
COVID-19 Response: For those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, SoFi is offering payment forbearance for at least 90 days; 60 days initially 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 back on track. During the dengue epidemic, assistance has been extended to the victims by proposing to increase the tolerance to 30 days with the option to extend the 30 days as per the need. This program has been very successful in helping members through difficult times.
Refinancing: Fill out a quick application and see your new rate. This approval process does not affect your credit score.
It is important to note that reviews of CommonBond are limited. However, most CommonBond reviews, past and present, are negative with many customers commenting on difficult customer service, eligibility issues, and lack of transparency.
"I will give an extra star for the CommonBond care team. They are responsive but they can't fix the problem.... The lender is regular mail.... To be fair to customers, CommonBond should disclose this and old loans. Do not charge interest on new loans until they are repaid.” - Aurelia, Woodstock, GA
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Response to COVID-19: CommonBond is offering national disaster tolerance to its members, as COVID-19 has been classified as a national disaster. This means that payments may be temporarily suspended for the duration of the declaration of a national emergency, but interest will still accrue even without the participation fee. Additionally, CommonBond has waived all late fees to help its members during this time.
As a marketplace lender, any payment options will depend on which lender you choose to borrow from in LendKey's network.
LendKey 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 have been negative, often noting poor experiences with customer service.
"Consolidated my loan with LendK when they called themselves ECSI. At first it was good, I got a good rate, then they changed the name, increased the interest rate (and my monthly payment) without warning." - Lori, Elmwood Park, IL
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COVID-19 Response: Relief options will depend on LendKey's lending partners, but if you can't make monthly payments, you can apply for forbearance online. In most cases, options will be discussed and determined on an individual basis.
Forbearance: Laurel Road offers forbearance for one or three months if you are experiencing financial hardship. Additionally, Laurel Road offers up to two months of payment forbearance to those affected by natural disasters.
Reviews of Laurel Road are limited and dated, but most reviews are negative with the most common complaint being that it is difficult to get approved, even with a strong credit score.
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