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Advice for borrowers

Student loan giant Sallie Mae offers these debt-consolidating tips.
/ Source:
  • Contact your college’s financial aid office for advice and referrals.
  • Watch for false deadlines: Applications need to be in by midnight June 30.
  • Know that consolidations are fee-free by law, but not interest rate-free.
  • Compare borrower benefits program — they can differ significantly.
  • Get accurate savings estimates.
  • Enter into a lender relationship knowing it may last 30 years.
  • Save time and apply online — it also catches any application errors immediately.

Also, for those borrowers who have a problem with their federal student loan or lender, the at the U.S. Department of Education may be able to help resolve the dispute.