Learn more about when to consolidate and refinance federal and private loans.
Along with gaining a new degree, many graduates will also leave campus with new student loan payments they’ll have to fit into their post-graduate budgets.
Here’s what you need to know before deciding to consolidate student loans.
When eyeing consolidation options for private loans only, Mayotte says borrowers should evaluate the new loan’s hardship protections and repayment terms in addition to the interest rate.
“If the terms you’re going to get are the not as generous as the terms you already have, consolidation is probably not a good idea,” she says.
People who are working in the public sector or taking advantage of federal debt relief programs such as income-based repayment or public service forgiveness may not want to refinance, as these programs do not transfer to private refinance loans.
Consolidating student loans via refinancing is best for people whose financial position - in terms of employment, cash flow, and credit - has improved since they graduated from school.Borrowers should have loan account numbers, estimated payoff dates and contact information for each of their loans’ holders ready.Those seeking consolidation should also review their repayment options at Student gov, so they’re prepared to pick the proper repayment plan.Unlike federal loans, it can be trickier to get your private loans consolidated.Private lenders require borrowers to pass a credit check to get the best rates.Federal loan borrowers can also lower their monthly payments by extending the life of their loan, having their payments capped according to their income and by having their debt dismissed after making 25 years of consecutive payments under the income-based repayment plan.