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*Student
loan consolidation* is a refinancing program. This program
reduces your monthly payment up to 60%, simplifies your finances
by creating new low monthly payment, locks in your interest
rates, improves your credit rating, saves your money and provides
flexible repayment options.

*Consolidation* can significantly reduce students
monthly payment burden. Depending on the amount of students
education debts, loan consolidation allows them to extend
their repayment period from the standard 10 years up to 30
years. The lower payment, indeed, allows students to meet
other house hold expenses, including car payments and career
related necessities.

Federal Stafford Consolidation, PLUS Loan Consolidation,
Direct Loan Consolidation, Perkins Loans, HEAL Loans, and
all Federal FFELP and Direct Loans are the best consolidations
for the US students.

*Student Loan Consolidation Calculator*

Student loan consolidation payment calculator calculates
students monthly savings. This calculator computes an estimate
of the size of students monthly loan payments and the annual
salary required to manage payments without too much financial
difficulty. It can be used with Federal education loans like
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Stafford, Perkins and PLUS and most private student loans.
The student loan consolidation calculator can also be used
as an auto loan and mortgage payments calculator.

Interest rate: *Student loan calculator* assumes that
the rate remains constant throughout the life of the loan.
The fixed interest rates of the Federal Stafford Loan, the
Federal PLUS loan and Perkins loans are 6.8%, 8.5% and 5%
respectively. Besides, loan calculator also assumes that the
loan will be repaid in equal monthly installments through
standard loan amortization. However, the calculated results
will not be accurate for some of the alternate repayment plans,
such as graduated repayment and income contingent repayment.

Some educational loans have a minimum monthly payment. Students
should enter the appropriate figure in the minimum payment
field such as $50 for Stafford Loans, $40 for Perkins Loans
and $0 for PLUS Loans. They need to enter a higher figure
to see how much money they can save by clearing their debt
faster.

The most popular calculators are the College Cost Projector,
Savings Plan Designer and Expected Family Contribution and
Financial Aid Calculator.

**College Cost Projector**

College costs, certainly, increase at about twice the inflation
rate. Current increases have averaged 5% to 8%. When a student
is ready to enroll, the College Cost Projector estimates how
much college will cost. There are two fields in this cost
projector. They are the ?Current-One-Year-Cost? field and
the ?Years until Matriculation? field.

In the "Current One-Year Cost" field, students should enter
the total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, room
and board, books, travel and incidental expenses. The College
Board\'s Trends in College Pricing will decide the average
total costs for the students attending two-year and four-year
public colleges and universities, and also for the out of
state students.

In the "Years until Matriculation" field, students need to
enter the number of years until they enroll in college for
the first time. Generally, a student who just started the
freshman year in high school will matriculate in four years
and a newborn baby will matriculate in approximately 17 years.

**Savings Plan Designer (Flat Contribution)**

This calculator shows how much money students, in order to
reach their savings goals, must contribute each month to an
interest-bearing bank account or investment fund.

Parents? savings target should be at least one-third to half
the projected costs of their child\'s college education. When
the child is born, the savings plan should be established
in the parents? name. For example, to reach $35,000, parent
would need to contribute $25.12 per week for 17 years to an
account that earns 5% interest.

Students should try to analyze the effectiveness of their
current savings plan. For that they need to use the Savings
Growth Projector instead to calculate the growth potential
of their current contributions.

**Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator**

The EFC Calculator is an online form used to calculate the
expected family contribution and financial need. It is also
used to estimate students financial aid. EFC ensures customer?s
privacy and is a free service.

Students and their parents should fill out this form after thoroughly
reading the caveats. This form calculates the EFC for a single
year, so parents/students need to enter school costs, scholarships
and financial information accordingly.
Each section of this form includes more detailed instructions
for the items in that section. Using this from is as easy
as just fill out the form and press the "Calculate" button
at the bottom of the form.

There are two kinds of methodologies in calculating EFC.
They are the ?Federal Methodology? and the Institutional Methodology.
The Federal Need Analysis Methodology is used by the Federal
processor and school financial administrators. The Institutional
Methodology is related to private colleges and universities.
FinAid?s Calculator is useful to figure out students? school
costs, needed savings and financial aids.