Wallet Wednesday: When to refinance your student loans

Published: May. 16, 2018 at 7:28 AM EDT
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Many recent college graduates are still soaking in what it means to be finished with school and with that comes the real world and student loans.

This week we're talking about refinancing and when is a good time.

Barbara Thomas, executive vice president of Southeast Bank said before you do any refinancing you need to have a few things established.

"You have a stable source of income, you have a good credit score and you should be able to refinance your student loans if in fact the interest rate on the refinancing loan is less than the interest rate you're paying today," said Thomas.

Her best advice is to educate yourself about your student loans as best you can. You can find that information

"You can go on and actually look up all your student loans so you're intimately familiar with all the loans you've taken during your college career, so you're not surprised," said Thomas.

SouthEast Bank offers an Education Loan Finance program. To see if you're eligible visit

The government will allow students to hold off on making any student loan payments for six months, but Thomas says there's things students need to know about that.

"What students don't understand is even though they have that grace period, repayment actually begins day one, meaning their interest, even though they're in this grace period, is accruing and therefore their loan balance is growing. meaning the repayment, the amount they'll have to give back to the federal government, is actually a bigger number," said Thomas.

Thomas said not all federal loans qualify for the grace period. Thomas said the parent loan, plus loan or a consolidation loan do not qualify.