Consolidating federal student loans lower interest

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.

When you consolidate your Federal student loans, you go through the Direct Consolidation Loan program.

This program is designed specifically for Federal student loans and is administered by the Department of Education.

It takes borrowers an average of 21 years to repay their student loans, while 28% of students are in default (or miss payments for 270 days or more) within five years of entering repayment.

The picture painted by these statistics is clear: many borrowers are in over their heads with student loan debt and are looking for relief.

Three of them are Federal student loans and two of them are private. Here is what you need to know about consolidating and refinancing your Federal and private student loans together.

Consolidation loans have longer terms than other loans. Although the monthly repayments are lower, the total amount paid over the term of the loan is higher than would be paid with other loans.Even if your rates seem high, t he Department of Education puts a cap on consolidation loan rates at 8.25 percent.One major advantage of federal consolidation loans is that borrowers don't need a stellar credit score to qualify, they can apply any time (even if their loan is in default) at Loan gov, and they'll always get a fixed interest rate.Consolidation loans taken out before that date had a variable interest rate, determined by the individual FDLP loan origination center (e.g., in the case of a university, that university) or FFELP lender (e.g., a third party bank).In 2005, the Government Accountability Office considered consolidating consolidation loans so that they were exclusively managed through the FDLP.

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