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You’ve graduated with a degree in hand and landed your first real job. Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate. Hmm, time to evaluate those finances. In addition to that degree, you also have several thousands of dollars in student loan debt spread across multiple financial institutions. It’s time to look at the most fiscally responsible way to pay off that debt in the shortest amount of time so that you can save for the things you want to enjoy in your life.

Working with Chase to consolidate student loan debt is a simple process. Chase also offers some nice benefits for timely payments that can be a win-win for the borrower and the bank. Let’s look at some of the features of student loan consolidation through Chase.

Timeliness is key.

By applying for loan consolidation during the six-month grace period following graduation before loan payments are required, you may qualify for a reduced interest rate. Be sure you understand the terms of this move as your new loan may forfeit your grace period by doing this, but the long-term benefits of a lower rate can outweigh that factor and get you on the road to paying off your debt sooner.

There are minimum loan amounts.

To qualify for loan consolidation, a minimum of $5,000 in debt is necessary.

Set up auto-payment and save even more.

Auto payments directly deducted from your bank account will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%. This may seem like a small amount, but if you have a lot of debt, that one-quarter of a percent can add up to a lot of cash. The other benefit of auto-payments is that your payments will never be late, further establishing a responsible credit history and positively impacting your credit score. Another bonus is that with 36 consecutive on-time payments, your interest rate will be reduced by 1%.

Pay off your loan early.

Chase offers a bi-weekly payment option, or 26 payments per year instead of 12 monthly payments. This option may work well for those whose employers pay on a bi-weekly basis. Chase also allows additional payments and early loan repayment without fees.

Student loan consolidation can be a smart move for those having difficulty paying the monthly repayments or have a large amount of debt from several different loans at multiple financial institutions. Consolidating loans allows one payment and possibly provides a lower interest rate than currently associated with some of the loans. Consolidating student loans can also help manage debt and lower monthly payment amounts, easing some of the monthly financial burden while helping the borrower stay current on payments and not damaging his or her credit score.

Servicing of Chase student loans is handled by two different organizations. American Education Services (AES) deals with Chase private student loans, while ACS Education Services (ACS) works with Chase federal student loans. For private loan consolidation, borrowers will need to contact AES at www.aesSuccess.org. Federal student loans through Chase can be consolidated by contacting ACS at www.acs-education.com.