Consolidating private federal student loans together

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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.

Use a consolidation calculator to compare monthly payments under three different scenarios: federal student loan consolidation, private student loan refinancing and income-driven repayment plans.

Federal loan consolidation doesn’t have a credit requirement, and it offers the benefit of a single loan bill and potentially lower payments.

But it’s only for federal loans, and it won’t cut your interest rate.

Private student loan consolidation or “refinancing” involves repaying older student loans by taking out a new loan from a private lender to replace them.

To create this article, 25 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. If you are juggling more than one payment on your loans (whether they are federal, private, or both), or if your federal loans are currently in default status, consolidation may help you manage your debt and protect your credit.

» MORE: Best student loan refinance companies Your financial history — including your credit score, income, job history and educational background — will dictate your new interest rate when you refinance.

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

So, for instance: If the average comes to 6.15%, your new interest rate will be 6.25%.

» MORE: Find Your Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rate Additionally, you’ll get a new loan term ranging from 10 to 30 years.

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