What About Paying Off My Student Loans with Home Equity Debt—or Credit Cards?

Several people who consolidated when interest rates were high have e-mailed me with schemes to reduce their rate, and many hit on the idea of paying off their loans with home equity debt.

Others proposed different alternatives. One reader noted that her credit card was offering a 4.99% rate “for the life of the balance” and wondered if that would be a good way to get her lending costs down.

There are situations when trading student loan debt for other kinds of debt can be advantageous, but this kind of refinancing is fraught with peril.

Few debts are as flexible as student loans. If you lose your job, you can get a deferral or forbearance so that you don't have to make ...

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