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.
When it comes to consolidation, the types of loans you have matters, but most federal loans, including Stafford, Perkins, Direct Plus and Supplemental loans, can be consolidated with other federal student loans."The interest rate on (federal) consolidation loans is an average of the interest rates on the (federal) loans you're consolidating," says Ken O'Connor, director of student advocacy for Fynanz, a New York City firm providing technology for the private student loan market.
Even if your rates seem high, t he Department of Education puts a cap on consolidation loan rates at 8.25 percent.
The Direct Consolidation Loan program is the right choice if your goal is to simplify the process and keep your options open for the many repayment plans available for federal loans. Your rate is determined by the weighted average of the interest on the loans being consolidated rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.
You can’t consolidate private loans in the federal Direct Consolidation Loan program, but some private lenders allow you to consolidate federal and private loans together.When you consolidate student loans – either federal or private – it’s one payment to one lender, once-a-month. Loan consolidation for student loans was created to make it easier for millions of borrowers to pay off their debt.Both federal and private lenders recognize that lower monthly payments help may be the best option, if you don’t get the job you want immediately after graduating from colleges.Find out more about the choices debt consolidation offers.Ideally, you would qualify for debt consolidation after graduation.Direct consolidation loans are now the only type of federal student consolidation loan.Under the Direct Loan Consolidation Program, you can consolidate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs), Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs), PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEALs), and just about any other type of federal student loan. So Fi is one of few lenders that handles federal and private student loan consolidation.Plus, as a member, you’ll have access to a whole lot of perks: career strategy services, customer support seven days a week, invites to So Fi events, and more.Private student loans, on the other hand, are administered by banks and other financial institutions, and the interest rates for these loans tend to be higher and they can be raised over time.Private student loans may be eligible for forbearance programs - which means you may be able to suspend payments due to economic hardship, but during those periods your loan will continue to accrue interest.Loan consolidation is when a borrower takes out a new loan to pay off several smaller student loans.Instead of making multiple payments to multiple lenders, the borrower only has to pay off the new consolidation loan, says Michelle Pezzulli, vice president of operations for Credit Union Student Choice, a student lending service provider in Washington, D.As you weigh the pros and cons, keep in mind that timing is critical.