When even the basic term "consolidation" means different things for different lenders, the process can understandably seem daunting.
Help on consolidating student loans
Your new loan will come with whatever borrower protections your new lender specifies.
(Be sure that, at minimum, you can take advantage of deferment and forbearance so that you have some cushion in the event of an emergency).
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For easy reference on federal options, here's the Direct Consolidation Loan link to review that loan program.
For consolidating with a private lender, research which lender offers the right options for you.
Refinancing allows you to get a better interest rate on your loans than you did when you first borrowed.
You're effectively replacing your existing loans with one new loan, and you can choose from options that offer you access to different loan terms and fixed, variable, and hybrid interest rates.
(Note: You cannot consolidate federal and private student loans together through the federal government, either.) You can consolidate an existing Direct Consolidation Loan so long as you have a new eligible loan with which it can be consolidated.
Check out the official government site for all the details on eligibility.
He said he tackled his car loan first to pay down a higher interest rate during a six-month grace period following graduation on his student loans.