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Established Contributor
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Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

I currently have about 37K of private student loans serviced by Sallie Mae. I was on a rate reduction program for a while, but now my loans are about to go back to 9-10% APR. I'm really considering cosolidating next year once all my scores should be above 700. Has anyone has any success in doing so?

 

I'd like to know what are some lenders to consider? I thought about cuStudentLoans since they showed up in searches.

 

Would an inconventional route possibly work? e.g. a personal loan from a CU, Lending Tree, etc?


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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

Your lowest rates will likely be through a student loan consolidation process, or by using Equity in your home (if you have one). It doesn't mean that either are a good/bad decision, just where you will find the lowest rates. An unsecured personal loan for $37k would be brutal financially, and rates are unlikely to be under 9%.

Off the top of my head I know that custudentloans, Wells Fargo, and SunTrust all offer consolidation options. Just read over for fees, terms, etc to make sure you are getting a good deal. When I was doing my research I noticed that they all determine interest rates based on creditworthiness, so it might not be worth it if you don't get a good rate through them.

I hope that helped.

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Established Contributor
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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

Thanks ST. I'll look into SunTrust. I believe WF wouldn't be able to give me a decent rate.


Starting Score: 515
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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

I looked into consolidating last August. I decided that WF looked the best because there was no origination fee and they had the lowest rates. At that point I had about 39k in private loans and 50k more in federal loans. I was making 55k a year and living with my parents trying to pay down my loans (I'm down to about 75k total now). I also had a FICO score of around 770, based on the letter they sent (I'm not sure of the exact number). I was told that I needed a cosigner. When I called back to tell them that a cosigner wasn't an option, I asked to talk to someone in the underwriting dept. I was told that this was not allowed and got nowhere with them. I got so fed up with getting zero real answers from anyone at WF, that I just decided to let the application expire. The whole experience really turned me off of WF.

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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

My experience with Wells Fargo trying to consolidate was just as ridiculous as the other guy. No matter what you say they want a co-signer. At the time I was making about $30k with a 17k loan with them and I was just trying to add in about 4-5k to it. Very fustrating, I'm just glad the majority of my student loans are federal.


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Established Contributor
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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

No way I'm getting a cosigner involved in this. I don't see why you would not qualify without one.

 

I did come across this program called SoFi, but my school isn't eligible. Maybe it will help one of you guys.


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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

[ Edited ]
I consolidated with Wells Fargo twice without needing a co-signer.

1rst time: May 2011
Loan Amount: ~ 50K
Fico score: 720ish
AAoA: ~4 years
Income: 62k
Rate: 7%

2nd time: March 2013
Loan Amount: 74k
Fico Score: 751
AAoA: 4 years
Income: 70K
Rate: 3.75%

The first 3 times or so that I applied, they asked me for a co-signer. That was from 2009 to 2011, when I was fresh out of college.
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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

Thanks yellowcake. So it looks like my scores will have to be well north of 700 to get a refi without a cosigner. Hopefully by next year I'll be there. 

 

Good luck in paying down your loans.


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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

Forgive me for bumping this old thread, but a year later, I'd be interested in hearing how and whether any of you have made progress consolidating. As my scores come close to 700, I'm finally considering doing this. 

 

Also, I'm curious to hear, Simply827, whether the Sallie Mae "rate reduction program" worked for you, and whether there're any adverse credit consequences of going into it. My loans with them are current, but I understand you can still join the RRP if you tell them you're only barely able to make payments and in danger of not being able to, etc. etc. 


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Re: Anyone ever have success consolidating private student loans?

I'm in the process of consolidating a few small private loans. The bulk of my loans are federal and I consolidated those five years ago, but I still have about $15,000 on two private loans. 

 

So far, the best options appear to be SoFi and Darien Rowayton Bank, but they both have limitations. For SoFi, you have to have gone to a school on their list. For DRB, you have to have earned one of a short list of degrees (from their website: MBA, Law, Medical/Dental (post-residency), Physician Assistant, Advanced Degree Nursing, Pharmacist, and Engineering graduate programs). As it happens, I qualify for both, so I've applied to both, passed the credit check on both, and I'm waiting to see which offers the better deal. The interest rates are pretty competitive. 

 

Anyway, hope you're able to take advantage of one of those. 



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