Consolidating private student loans with federal student loans

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You typically need a credit score at least in the high 600s to qualify, and rates range from around 2% to more than 9%.

Consider refinancing if you have: Refinancing federal student loans into a private loan means losing consumer protections specific to federal loans.

Usually, the biggest chunk of debt is owed to the U. Department of Education in the form of Federal Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

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Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.But it’s only for federal loans, and it won’t cut your interest rate.Consider federal consolidation if you: When you consolidate federal loans, the government pays them off and replaces them with a direct consolidation loan.Log in to and click on “Complete Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.” You’ll need to finish the application in one session, so gather the documents listed in the “What do I need? You can either get a repayment timeline based on your loan balance or pick one that ties payments to income. Continue making student loan payments as usual until your servicer confirms consolidation is complete.” section before you start and set aside about 30 minutes to fill it out. Enter which loans you do — and do not — want to consolidate. If you pick an income-driven plan, you’ll fill out an Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form next. If you’re considering either federal or private student loan consolidation in order to get a drastically lower loan bill, look further into income-driven repayment instead.

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