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This can be attractive to borrowers because the consolidation frequently results in longer repayment periods and lower monthly payments.
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.
Regardless of how the market fluctuates, borrowers will never pay more than 8.25 percent on their consolidation loans.
Private loans can typically only be consolidated with other private loans.
Betsy Mayotte, director of regulatory compliance for the student debt assistance group, American Student Assistance, makes sure to tell borrowers to stay away from consolidation loans that combine federal and private loans.
Consolidating both types of loans excludes borrowers from federal protections.
Along with gaining a new degree, many graduates will also leave campus with new student loan payments they'll have to fit into their post-graduate budgets.The difference is you'll need to apply through a private lender.Some are better than others, so make sure to look at the varying terms of each one -- staying away from charges or origination fees and checking the maximum interest rate so you won't get burned down the road.Here's what you need to know before deciding to consolidate student loans.Loan consolidation is when a borrower takes out a new loan to pay off several smaller student loans.