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Federal student loan consolidation basics How to consolidate federal student loans Benefits of federal consolidation Drawbacks of federal consolidation Private student loan consolidation (student loan refinancing) When you consolidate federal loans, the government pays them off and replaces them with a direct consolidation loan.

You’re generally eligible once you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.

College students can take out new loans each year they're in school, so by the time graduation comes, it's common to have half a dozen, or more, individual loans.

Each of them may have different terms, including interest rates.

If the requirements above sound good, we think that you are a great applicant for student loan refinancing and consolidation.

If, like many college graduates, you have multiple student loans, you’ve probably heard the term “student loan consolidation” thrown around more than once when talking about repayment options.As part of the process, you’ll need to provide details about your existing federal student loans, and choose a federal loan servicer and repayment plan for your new consolidation loan.You have to complete the application in a single session, so do your research before you start. You can consolidate all your federal loans or just some of them.Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.When you consolidate federal loans, your new fixed interest rate will be the weighted average of your previous rates, rounded up to the next ⅛ of 1%.So, for a simplified example, if you have two loans, one for ,000 at 4% interest and one for ,000 at 6%, your consolidated loan will have a ,000 balance and a 4.7% interest rate.

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