After I graduated law school, I consolidated all of my student loans with a specific company, who aren't even worth mentioning. They offered an interest rate reduction if I made a specific amount of payments on time. I was determined to qualify for this additional reduction, so I made sure to always make my payments on time.
A few years later, I was two payments away from getting the additional interest rate reduction when as luck would have it, the transmission on my car went out. I had to replace the whole transmission! I ended up having to take all of the money out of savings to pay for it, which then made me dead broke. I was still a week away from my next pay day, and my consolidation payment was due in the next 2 days. I tried to figure out a way to scrape up enough money to make the payment on time.
The next day I had to swallow my pride and do what anyone else in a money crunch would do, and borrow money from my parents. By the time that I got the money from my parents and sent the payment, I wasn't sure if it would get there on time. My mom reassured me that most financial companies have a window of few days before a payment would be considered late. I hoped that would be the case here. A few days later I called the company to make sure that they had received my payment. The customer service representative told me that they had received my payment, but unfortunately, it was due on the 10th and they received it the 11th. The person told me that I was no longer eligible for the interest rate reduction, due to my late payment. I yelled at him and told him that they should allow for a window of a few days for payments. He told me that it wasn't applicable to the interest rate reduction program. After how long I tried to be diligent in making these payments, they wouldn't give me a one-day-buffer!? I was irate, but didn't know what else I could do.
My roommate, Todd, was smart and consolidated through Law School Loans. He told me that they offer great borrower benefits like an instant 0.25% interest rate reduction and also an extra 1.00% interest rate reduction for those who qualify! Todd said that that they are flexible and wouldn't take away your borrower benefits for a simple one-day late payment! He also told me that there is an agent assigned to each customer, and they work with you when you have problems or concerns. That would have come in handy for me!
I'm kicking myself for not shopping around for a consolidation company. If I would have known about Law School Loans' benefits and helpful customer service, I would have definitely consolidated with them first, and saved myself from all of this drama!
-Jason R. - Tallahassee, FL
I knew that I wanted to consolidate my loans, but I wasn't sure who would be the best company for me to work with. I looked at a few websites, but was still confused as to which company to consolidate with. Then on one website my eyes caught the words: cash rebate. These words rang music to my ears, as I was a poor, recent college grad who had yet to land the job of my dreams. The company, Student Capital, would actually give me money just for consolidating all of my outstanding loans with them! I immediately called them and applied. I wanted (and needed) that cash! My student loan debt came to $56,000. This meant that I was eligible to receive $1,120 from them. All that I had to do was make 9 consecutive payments to them, and then I'd get my cash! I thought that this was too good to be true! Well, the lesson here is that if seems that way, it probably is!
One night I was telling my older brother, Justin, (who I might add is everyone's favorite!) about my new found cash flow. He looked at me and rolled his eyes. He told me that I was stupid for going with a consolidation company who offered cash rebates instead of interest rate reductions. I told him that I couldn't live off of interest rate reductions, and again he rolled his eyes. He told me that when he graduated, he consolidated his student loans with Law School Loans. Law School Loans offered interest rate reductions of up to 1.25%. He said that with the interest rate reductions, over the life of his loan, he'd be saving over $32,000 from his initial $60,000 debt. He took out his calculator and with a smug look informed me that I could have saved $18,043 over the life of my loan! Hmm… $1,120 to $18,043, which should I have taken? I felt sick to my stomach as I realized that I took the fast pay-off by going for the cash rebate, instead of the interest rate reduction, and I would now be paying for it for years to come! Justin went on to lecture me about how some companies use the cash rebate incentive to lure people, like me, in, while the companies are actually saving themselves thousands of dollars on each consolidation!
He said that Law School Loans was different, that they offered real savings! He also told me that in addition to Law School Loans' great incentives, they also have great flexible repayment options that could have shrunk my monthly payment down by as much as half of what I was paying! I was really sick by then!
My advice to anyone who is looking to consolidate is to avoid companies that offer cash incentive, and to go with Law School Loans, where you can save real dough with their interest rate reductions. I wish I did, but I'd never admit that to my brother!
-Jerad A. - Chicago, IL
There I was, six months out of law school, and still no job! I had a few job interviews lined up with good firms, but nothing was solid, and my cash flow was quickly running out. I needed to save as much money as I could until I landed a decent job.
I had consolidated my undergraduate federal school loans with Nelnet, so I figured that I would consolidate the private student loans, which I took out to pay for law school, with Nelnet as well. I thought that this would be a good way to save some cash. I needed to scrimp and save as much as I could, so I figured that I would opt for some kind of interest-only payment plan to pay just the interest on my loan until I had a steady income. This would save me quite a bit of money upfront.
I started filling out the private loan consolidation application with Nelnet, but couldn't seem to find where their repayment options were. I looked through their website and found that they only offered the standard (interest + principal) repayment option! I called their customer service line, and it was true, they only had one repayment option, but I wouldn't consider one option an option at all! The customer service rep tried to convince me that I should consolidate my private loans with them, but there was no way that I could afford to make the full payments right now! I told him that it wasn't possible and hung up.
I was a little frustrated, and started looking on-line for other consolidation companies that offered real repayment options. I hadn't been searching for very long when I came upon Law School Loans' website. Law School Loans offered not one, but three flexible repayment options - ones with interest only payments - that I was looking for! I called Law School Loans and got set up with their Select 5/Graduated Payment option. It allowed me to pay only interest on my consolidation for 2 years! Also, they gave me a 30 year term to repay the consolidation loan, so my monthly payment was lowered by half of what it would have been with Nelnet. I would have been crazy to consolidate with Nelnet, and miss the opportunity to save money off of my monthly payments! Law School Loans' repayment options helped me out of a serious money crunch!
Tanesha S. - Newark, NJ
I had read on a money-saving website that consolidating your student loans was a great way to save. I was all about finding new ways to save money, so I started looking for companies to consolidate with. I found one that seemed decent, so I started filling out an application on-line with them. I didn't have time to finish it, so I saved it and quit.
A few days later I talked to my dad on the phone and he said that he had heard that there are a lot of variables to consider with consolidating student loans, and that I shouldn't jump into consolidating with just any company. I figured that he was right, and that I'd keep looking around.
A few weeks later, one of my co-workers told me about Law School Loans. She had consolidated with Law School Loans, and spoke very highly of them. She said that they only consolidated loans for attorneys and law school students. She also said that Law School Loans offered low interest rates and the loan specialists were really great to explain things. She said that in addition to that, they also offered borrower benefits to reduce your interest rates by another 1.25%! I realized that I had found the company that I wanted to consolidate with. I decided that I would get on-line and start my consolidation application during the upcoming weekend, when I was off of work.
However, I didn't have the chance to because the next day, I received a bill in the mail that I didn't recognize. I opened it and couldn't believe what I was reading. The consolidation company that I had started an application on-line with was sending me a bill! I couldn't understand why I would have a bill from them, so I called their customer service line and asked them what the bill was for. The service rep told me that I had consolidated my student loans with them a month ago, and that what I was reading was my monthly statement from them telling me how much I owed! I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I told the rep that I did start an application with them, but never completed it; nor did I sign anything giving them consent to consolidate my loans! He told me that he'd heard that before, but they wouldn't have processed my application if I didn't sign something. I told him that I didn't and that I didn't want my loans consolidated with them! He told me that it was too late now, because my previous lenders had been paid, and they (the consolidation company) now had control of my loans! I asked to speak to a supervisor, and she told me the same thing. It was like no one believed me!
It's a good thing that I know a thing or two about the legal profession, because I am in the middle of a legal battle with the company who consolidated my loans without my permission. As soon as I get through the mess, I am having Law School Loans consolidate all of my loans. I would rather go with a company that has a good reputation like Law School Loans, rather than one that is dishonest and takes advantage of people!
-Shantell K. - Denver, CO-
It all started when my best friend brought her brand new car over to my apartment to show it off to me. It was so nice, and I was so jealous! I could not understand how she could afford such a splurge. We were both recent law school grads, and were both trying desperately to pay off the daunting student loan debt that we had accrued in law school. Behind a fake smile, I finally asked her how she was going to afford this new car. She smiled and said that she had just consolidated her law school loans, and she'd be saving so much money off of her monthly payments, she could now afford to own the new car. I took another look at her new purchase and knew that I needed to consolidate my loans ASAP!
I completed my application to consolidate with Sallie Mae, and was quoted an extremely low interest rate. I could almost feel the leather on the seats of my brand new car as the agent estimated how low my monthly payments would be! He told me that since I was consolidating my loans while I was still in my grace period, I would be saving a lot of money! So I waited for word that my application had been processed and my consolidation completed. I waited and I waited. It had been four months since the time that I had completed my application. I called in and the agent assured me that it wouldn't be much longer, that sometimes it took some time. I tried to be patient as four more months passed by. Again I called, and again I received the same answer: that it wouldn't be much longer.
Finally, after twelve months since the time that I completed my application, I received my first consolidation loan statement in the mail from my Sallie Mae. But, it was not worth the wait! When I opened my statement, my interest rate was 1.875% higher than what I had been told it would be! That couldn't be right! I called the lender to complain, but they told me that since it took so long for my consolidation to be completed, they could no longer honor the initial interest rate that they told me! In my head I saw my hopes of a new car drive off down the road.
In frustration, I called my friend (the one with the new car), and told her that she was wrong, that consolidating wasn't going to save me any money! She asked me who I consolidated with, and I told her Sallie Mae. She laughed and said that I should have consolidated with Law School Loans. She said that she went with Law School Loans and had no problems with the process at all. She said that they consolidated her loans quickly, and that the customer service there at Law School Loans was great! Then to rub it in more, she told me that they not only locked her in at an extremely low interest rate, but they offered an additional 1.25% interest rate reduction on top of it all!
To sum up my experience, I am still driving my old car that is about to die any day, and my former best friend is driving her beautiful brand new car! If I had only known to go with Law School Loans in the first place, I might be driving a new car too!
-Haylee T. - Dallas, TX-
Kennedy Introduces Legislation That Would Alter Federal Financial Aid
The Legal Career Resources column is presented by LawCrossing, America's leading legal job search site dedicated to getting jobs for legal professionals.
On April 3 Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) introduced legislation that would make sweeping changes to federal financial aid. The bill, given the short name ''Strengthening Student Aid for All Act,'' is intended to ensure students have sufficient access to financial aid, in the forms of both grants and loans.
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If you are still in-school, you may reserve your consolidation for graduation with Law School Loans. By signing and returning your application now, you will be guaranteed the current low rates on your consolidation, and you will not have to think about your consolidation again until you enter repayment.
| If you don't know who currently holds your loans, we can find lender names and addresses for you. Give us a call at 800-659-8344—this information is free, and you will be under no obligation.
|A few minutes on the phone or online could save you $600 a month or more on your student loan payments.
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Planning for Law School
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Consolidate with the Best! Consolidate with Law School Loans!
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