The application takes most borrowers less than 30 minutes, according to the Federal Student Aid website. You must complete the application in a single session, so gather the documents listed in the “What do I need? 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.
The government offers plans that cut payments to 10% or 15% of “discretionary” income and offer forgiveness on the remaining balance after 20 or 25 years. If you have a large loan balance and a low income, income-driven repayment is probably your best option for the lowest monthly bill.
Our expert tips and hacks will help you save money, pay off loans sooner and stress less about student loan debt.
Read the other posts in the series here—and get all the info you need to make intelligent decisions about your student loans.
Consider refinancing if you have: Refinancing federal loans into a private loan means losing consumer protections specific to federal loans.
Those include the option to tie payments to income and get loans forgiven if you work for the government or a nonprofit.
And while you’re at it, check out So Fi’s new Student Loan Debt Navigator tool to assess your student loan repayment options.
The ability to switch out older, variable rate federal loans for one fixed rate loan, which could protect you from having to pay higher rates in the future if interest rates go up.For example, consolidation simply means combining multiple student loans into one loan, but you get different results by consolidating with the federal government vs. Student loan refinancing is when you apply for a loan under new terms and use that loan to pay off one or more existing student loans. When you consolidate with the government, your existing federal loans are combined into one new loan with a new rate, which is a weighted average of your old loans’ rates.This option doesn’t save you any money, but there are still a few potential benefits:1.But it’s only for federal loans, and it won’t cut your interest rate.Consider federal consolidation if you: Your new fixed interest rate will be the weighted average of your previous rates, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward –- and free. " Like the federal government, private companies offer the option to consolidate multiple student loans into one.