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After consolidating, you have only one interest rate and make only one monthly payment, instead of having multiple rates and payments.

Simplifying your life is a side benefit of consolidation – the main reason people do it is to get a fixed lower interest rate so they can pay their debt down faster.

Federal student loan consolidation basics How to consolidate federal student loans Benefits of federal consolidation Drawbacks of federal consolidation Private student loan consolidation (student loan refinancing) When you consolidate federal loans, the government pays them off and replaces them with a direct consolidation loan.

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Consolidating your loans simply means gathering all of them into one new loan, with one interest rate, requiring one payment.

The same is true for student loan debt consolidation, except that federal student loans cannot usually be consolidated with other debts.

Private student loans can be consolidated with other debt in some case – for example by rolling them into a home equity loan (see below).

WARNING: It is very dangerous to consolidate federal loans into a private consolidation loan.

You will lose your rights under the federal loan programs once you choose to consolidate with a private lender.