Private Consolidation FAQs

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What is a Private Consolidation Loan?

A Private consolidation loan is a variable interest rate loan that allows students, graduates, and parents the opportunity to simplify their budget by combining all of their eligible private student loans into a single loan with one rate and one monthly payment.

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What are the eligibility requirements to consolidate my private student loans?

You must have one or more private student loans with a combined balance of $7,500 or greater, up to a maximum of $300,000.

The applicant (or cosigner) must show at least 2 years of satisfactory credit history, 2 years of verifiable residence, and 2 years of employment.

The income of the applicant (or cnsigner) must be at least $1,500 per month.

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When can I consolidate?

Borrowers are eligible for private student loan consolidation when all of the loans selected for consolidation have been fully disbursed.

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What loans are eligible for consolidation?

For the most part, any private or alternative student loans that were incurred while attending a qualified school are eligible for consolidation. Qualifying student loans are those that were made for the sole purpose of paying for qualified higher education expenses.

There are many different types of private or alternative student loans offered by various lenders. The following are a few common private student loan examples that would be eligible for consolidation:

  • Sallie Mae Signature
  • Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan
  • Wells Fargo Education Connection Loan
  • Wells Fargo MedCap Loan
  • Citi Assist Loan
  • CLC Premier Loan
  • CLC Bar Loan
  • Law Access Loan
  • PLATO Loan

Please call one of our knowledgeable loan consultants to see if your loans qualify.

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Can I refinance my private student loan, even if I only have one loan?

Yes, even if you only have one eligible private student loan, you still may qualify to refinance that loan to take advantage of better terms through private student loan consolidation.

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Can I consolidate my private and federal student loans together?

No. We cannot consolidate your private and federal student loans together. Federally-backed student loans carry certain benefits that private student loans do not. Most of the federal benefits that come along with your federal student loans would be lost if they were included in a private student loan consolidation.

You can still consolidate both your private student loans and your federal student loans separately. And with the help of our highly trained loan consultants, we can make the process quick and simple for you.

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How is the interest rate determined?

The interest rates for a private student loan consolidation offered through ELF are variable, adjusted quarterly on the first day of January, April, July, and October. The rate is based on the 1-Month LIBOR index plus a margin. To show you immediate savings, our introductory interest rate is calculated using a margin of 2.5% to 3%. Currently our introductory interest rate is 7.52% to 8.02%. After the first year, your rate would be calculated using the long term margin which is 6% to 6.5%. Currently, the long term interest rate is 11.02% to 11.52%. We also offer a .25% interest rate discount if you elect to pay by electronic debit from your checking or savings account.

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What will be the length of my repayment term?

Your repayment term is determined by the total outstanding balance of the loans being included in the consolidation. The maximum repayment term is 30 years.

Total Debt To Be ConsolidatedAvailable Repayment Term
$7,500 – $30,00025 years
$30,001 and greater30 years

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Are there different types of repayment plans?

There are two options to choose from:

Regular Repayment – This option is where you make normal payments of principal and interest over the life of your loan.

Interest-Only Repayment – This repayment plan supplies borrowers with the lowest initial monthly payment. Borrowers that select this plan have the flexibility to make interest-only payments for the first 24 months. Many borrowers right-out-of-school like this option as it affords them the flexibility of a lower initial monthly payment, giving them the cash flow they need as they enter into the workforce. After 24 months of interest-only payments, the payments will increase and be paid on a normal principal and interest schedule.

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What is the LIBOR Index and what does it do?

LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. Similar to the prime rate it is used to set the interest rate of variable rate loans. Lenders use such an index, which varies, to adjust interest rates as economic conditions change.

The LIBOR is generally considered by most experts to be a very stable index:

  • According to, “its changes have been smaller than changes in the prime rate.”
  • According to “Borrowers should prefer loans that are pegged to the LIBOR index over loans that are pegged to the Prime Lending Rate… Over the long term a loan with interest rates based on LIBOR will be less expensive than a loan based on the Prime Lending Rate.”

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Are there any fees to consolidate my private student loans?

There are zero out of pocket costs, but there is an origination fee that can range from 0% to 5% depending on your credit score. You may also qualify for a 1.5% origination fee rebate after you make 48 on-time payments. Of course, if you qualify for the 0% origination fee the rebate would not apply.

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