Warren Wilson College News

Students — Should you consolidate your student loans?

At that time you may find that you have loans from several different lenders, and you will have to make different payments to each of those lenders. To make your monthly loan payments simpler, you may want to consider loan consolidation.

What is loan consolidation?
Loan consolidation is provided by the U.S. Department of Education to help make payments more manageable by combining all of your student loans into one monthly payment.

Why would your student loans come from several lenders?
While your student loans have always been backed by the U.S. Department of Education, the lenders themselves have changed over the years.

Until this school year, WWC participated in the Federal Family Educational Loan Program for student loans. Through FFELP, students received subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans from individual lenders such as SallieMae, Citibank, College Foundation Inc., or Suntrust.

In 2009/2010, the College implemented a Direct Lending program, which means all subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans are now provided directly by the Federal Government’s Department of Education.

To complicate things further, due to the rocky economy of the last couple of years, many FFELP providers sold their 2008/2009 student loans to the Federal Government.

If you have been a student here for several years, you may have several different loans to repay when you leave. These payments could include a loan from an individual lender like Citibank or Suntrust, an individual lender’s loan that has been sold to the U.S. Department of Education, and the 2009-2010 Direct Stafford Loan.

How do you know who your lenders are?
Visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov to educate yourself on how many loans you have, the lenders, and the total amount you borrowed.

Where do you learn more about loan consolidation?
You can learn more about Direct Consolidation loans at www. loanconsolidation.ed.gov

Contact the WWC Financial Aid Office, 828-771-2082, if you have any questions.

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