Be wary of consolidating if you’ve already made progress toward loan forgiveness under the 10-year period for public sector employees or the 20-year period under income-driven plans.
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Student loan consolidation is a relatively easy concept to understand: it is the process of taking multiple student loans and combining them into one. Before consolidation, a student borrower might have multiple loans to pay back and many different loan balances to track.
After consolidating his or her loans, a student borrower will have just one monthly payment and just one loan balance to maintain.
Consolidation also opens up the door to extended repayment plans, in which your term can stretch up to 30 years depending on how much debt you have.
Consolidation doesn’t always work to your benefit, however.
So, for a simplified example, if you have two loans, one for $10,000 at 4% interest and one for $5,000 at 6%, your consolidated loan will have a $15,000 balance and a 4.7% interest rate.
By combining your interest rates, you also lose the ability to employ a favorite tactic of financial planners for paying down debt: targeting the most expensive debt, the loan with the highest interest rate, first.College students can take out new loans each year they’re in school, so by the time graduation comes, it’s common to have half a dozen, or more, individual loans.Each of them may have different terms, including interest rates.While each form of aid tackles school expenses, there are important distinctions to be made between the types of available assistance.Grants and scholarships provide assistance that is not repaid.Consolidating those loans into a single new one can simplify your payments, especially if your loans are with different loan servicers, the companies that oversee your payments.