Federal Student Loans
As a student trying to pay for college, you had two primary options
: federal loans or university payment plans. Then there are private student loans, which are lent by a bank or credit union. You may have taken out a federal student loan, multiple federal student loans or a federal student loan in combination with these other options.
Your federal student loan is either a Perkins Loan or a Direct Loan. While these are actually no longer being issued, Perkins Loans are need-based loans formerly offered by the U.S. Department of Education. Direct Loans comprise the following: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Consolidation Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans.
Each of these loans come with unique benefits and drawbacks, many you may be only now discovering as you find yourself working to pay them off. If you’re having trouble affording your student loan payments or simply looking to change up how you’re looking into different options. However, one you may not have considered is a student loan concierge.
What's a Federal Student Loan Concierge?
A federal student loan concierge is a type of loan consultation service. Part of a growing trend of unique employee benefits packages, it’s a financial wellness resource available through some employers. The term concierge describes the level of service implied. Like a hotel concierge, this kind of product is meant to be a one-stop source on all things student loan.
Why Use a Federal Student Loan Concierge
So far your resource on your student loans has likely been the U.S. Department of Education website. After all, it’s where you applied through the FAFSA. While there are many free resources available for tackling student loans yourself, there are many reasons to bring in the professionals:
End-to-end document processing:
With a federal student loan concierge, accredited student loan specialists help you navigate your student loan debt. The cliché is true that the wheels of government turn slowly. Going through a concierge service can reduce the processing time as they take care of the document preparation end-to-end.
Taking a consultative approach, they help you reduce your loan payments and can see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.
if you’re among the many degree-seekers who has taken out multiple loans, you may now wish to consolidate them into one. That way there’s one payment schedule, one interest rate and fewer fees to keep track of every month. The government does offer federal student loan consolidation.
It’s completed online, and must be done in one session.
Private concierge services can help you apply for consolidation to make the process faster and simpler.
Determining federal program eligibility:
There’s a reason federal loans were your first choice when applying for loans. They come with benefits like deferment or forbearance. Also, there’s a federal loan rehabilitation program if you default on your loans down the line. Under certain conditions
you can have them forgiven or canceled. Another benefit of federal student loans is repayment is based on income. Trained loan advisors can work with you to determine your eligibility for such federal programs.
Live support: The primary advantage of going with a concierge service is the human element. Student loans can be a minefield, and when you’re wading through information online you just want to speak to an actual person. That’s why a federal student loan concierge offers phone support from live agents.
Convenience: Another reason borrowers choose concierge service is you can take care of multiple things in one place. As we mentioned, there are many facets to managing your student debt. Your particular needs will vary. You can try to address each one separately, but this could involve seeking counsel from different financial advisors who specialize in each topic.
A consultative approach: Moreover, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s possible to tackle federal student loans without professionals, with online resources such as calculators and informational pages. You can try to research student loan debt on your own, but there may be questions you don’t even know to ask. That’s when a financial advisor is helpful because they have a deep knowledge base and a wide view of the field. Rather than figuring out your questions piecemeal over the Internet, they can work with you to create a personalized plan.