When I first went off to college right after high school, things didn’t go exactly as I had hoped. I ran into some personal problems during my freshman and sophomore years, and eventually had to drop out. Because I was no longer taking any classes, I had to start paying back my student loans almost immediately.

Even though I was in school for less than two years, I managed to amass quite a mountain of debt in that short time. I guess it didn’t help that I attended a college 500 miles away from home, lived on campus, and took a maximum class load each semester! At any rate, I figured that my only shot at being able to pay off my bills in a reasonable amount of time was to look into student loan consolidation.

This turned out to be a very smart idea, especially since I had such a mix of both government and private student loans to pay back. It would have been far too difficult for me to remember the specific terms of each of my loans — not to mention the due dates for all the payments — if I tried to handle them separately. In other words, I definitely benefited from the single-payment convenience of consolidating.

I’m happy to say that I had a totally positive experience with student loan consolidation. I was able to pay off those initial loans quickly, so when I went back to school to complete my degree I still had a good credit rating and was able to get even more loans to help defer costs. I know I wouldn’t have been able to afford school any other way, which is why I’m so thankful that this option exists!