And if you do qualify, but you’re at the high end of the spectrum, your slightly lowered payments may come at a through the refinancing process won’t make sense for every borrower, but it provides great benefits for some.Now that you know it’s an option and you understand how it works, you can better assess whether it’s right for you.Read the other posts in the series here—and get all the info you need to make intelligent decisions about your student loans.
That's because with consolidated federal loans, "there is no prepayment penalty," Holler said.
One possible drawback to this option: your monthly payments may be the same or even higher than they were before consolidation.
In terms of providing immediate payment relief, however, "loan consolidation can be a really good debt management tool," said Martha Holler, a senior director at Sallie Mae.
If your goal is to save money over the long haul, locking in a low interest rate now without lengthening your repayment period is the way to go.
The new rate for PLUS loans, which are given to parents, will be 4.86 percent, down from 6.79 percent in the past year.
The rates were determined by Tuesday's Treasury bill auction.For example, under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP), your Direct Loan balance may be eligible for forgiveness after 120 payments if you’ve worked in the public sector that entire time.Similarly, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is available for teachers who work in schools that serve low-income families full-time for five consecutive years.This is particularly true for grad school borrowers who use unsubsidized Direct loans and Graduate PLUS loans to finance their education.offer benefits and protections that do not transfer to private lenders. We’ve got you covered with our Student Loan Smarts blog series.