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If you don't care about the extra cash and just want a consolidation for the simplicity of a single monthly payment, you can use any money you save to pay down the principal.
You should do enough research to be able to negotiate the most favorable terms.
offer benefits and protections that do not transfer to private lenders.
This is often the reason that people cite when they say you shouldn’t combine federal and private loans.
What's more, some benefits of a federal consolidation loan, such as interest subsidies on deferred loans, are not available on private loans.
Yet despite the appeal -- and its popularity -- student loan consolidation isn't for everyone.
As with the Stafford Loans, there are both Direct and FFEL consolidation programs.
To a college grad swamped with multiple student loans that have come due, loan consolidation is an enticing option.
Switching to a new lending institution might eliminate any benefits you've earned, like lower interest rates for on-time payments over the years.
Plus, consolidating could make it impossible for you to have a Perkins Loan forgiven or reduced.
When you consolidate, a lending institution pays off your existing balances and replaces them with a new, consolidated loan.
The key terms for federal consolidation loans do not vary by lender: no application or origination fees are allowed and there are no prepayment penalties.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help determine if it's the right move for you.