Financing -- Loans/student loans
I have student loans that are coming due now. They are 52,357. Averaging the interest rates on these numerous loans it is about 6.0. My payments will total 621.26 per month. For 2012 I made 30,061.71 (unfortunately, 11000 of this was reported as income which I will owe taxes on by my college which was giving me free tuition for working for free - I didn't know it was going to be reported as income). Anyway, I got a job after graduate school this summer for 38,000. I know, I'm long winded. Do you think 621 will be too much to handle. I'm tempted to consolidate. Based on 2012 I will have to pay 166 (estimate). In 2013 I guess it goes to around 265.56 I know I will end up paying a lot more in interest though. When my sister consolidated in 2005 it was just to get a lower interest rate and one payment. She pays about 200!! Everyone was encouraged to consolidate. Now, you are just directed to the website and they give you the pros and cons. I really don't know what to do. I do have other bills. If I do consolidate can my payments ever go higher than the original 621.26 per month? What is your opinion? Could I ever go back to a ten year plan, since consolidation nowadays means 25 years? Thank you.
This is a difficult decision and not to be taken lightly.
To answer one question directly, yes, i think $621 is too much for you to handle right now.
However, a couple things I don't know. What are the interest rates of each program?
Can you make additional payments, pay down principal or
Pay the loan off early without prepayment penalty?