This is essentially free money that you don’t have to pay back. Only as a last resort should you take out a private student loan.
This may allow you to pay off your student loans sooner.
Learn more about how student loan consolidation works in this step-by-step tutorial.
With a lower monthly payment, you’ll have more money available to cover living expenses and accelerate repayment of higher interest rate debts.
Because there are no prepayment penalties, you can make larger payments to reduce your loan balance when it becomes affordable.
You'll generally mail the paperwork to whichever loan servicer you select. When filling out the application, you'll choose the loans you want to consolidate.
In addition, if you have loans you don't want to consolidate, you'll list those separately.
Loans are paid off and replaced by the consolidated loan, so they no longer exist.
While private lenders may be happy to take on your federal loans, this is rarely is a good idea for you, as you'll lose the rights and benefits you have with the individual loans before the process and with the consolidated loan afterward.
You generally can consolidate student loans after you graduate, leave school or drop below the half-time level.