Consolidating a student loan

You’ll get a new loan term between 10 and 30 years, depending on your balance. A longer term also will result in paying more in interest.

But you can always pay off your loan faster if possible, which will save money.

Instead, a private lender will look at your track record of handling debt and other financial information to give you a new (ideally lower) interest rate on your consolidation loan.

Bottom line: when you consolidate student loans with a private lender, you are also in fact refinancing those loans. Choose a variable interest rate loan, which can be a cost-saving option if you plan to pay off your loan relatively quickly.5.

And while you’re at it, check out So Fi’s new Student Loan Debt Navigator tool to assess your student loan repayment options.

Student loans have a way of making you feel powerless.

But unlike the federal government, they can consolidate both federal and private loans.

The goal with this process is not only to get the ease of a single payment, but to receive a lower interest rate based on your financial history.

But what is consolidation, what is refinancing, and how do you know which one (if either) is right for you? Here’s a simple overview of the different types of student loan consolidation, how they differ from student loan refinancing, and how to evaluate whether you should do one of these things.

This is a somewhat complicated question, especially since these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Federal loan consolidation Federal loan consolidation is offered by the government and is available for most types of federal loans—no private loans allowed.

And while most private lenders will only refinance private loans, a few, including So Fi, will refinance both private and federal student loans, so you can consolidate all of your loans into one.

Before you combine federal and private student loans, be aware that federal loans offer certain benefits and protections, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans, which do not transfer to private lenders.

Fewer bills and payments to keep track of each month.2.

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