All types of federal student loans can be consolidated together except a Direct PLUS Loan that was taken out by a parent to help pay for a child’s education (student PLUS loans can still be consolidated).However, private loans can’t be included in a federal consolidation loan.
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The basics of federal and private consolidation loans are outlined below.
How Federal Consolidation Loans Work Borrowers can combine multiple (at least two or more) federal loans into a single Direct Consolidation Loan (this is the only federal consolidation loan available).
Additionally, certain lenders only offer loans to those who have graduated or have completed a specific type of degree.
Federal and private consolidation loans both have unique advantages and drawbacks – not one option is right for everyone.
To be eligible, borrowers must have a clean credit history and a “good” FICO credit score (“good” is 670 and above according to FICO).
Borrowers with a poor credit history may still be able to qualify if they can secure a cosigner with good credit.
The interest rate is primarily determined by the lender’s evaluation of the borrower’s credit history.
However, some lenders also factor in the borrower’s current financial and professional circumstances.
We start by discussing the basics of student loan consolidation and refinancing, and comparing the benefits and drawbacks of federal and private consolidation loans.
We then detail a step-by-step guide to using and choosing consolidation loans.
Student loan consolidation or refinancing can be a great tool to use for those looking to save on, or simplify, their monthly payments, but going that route can also have serious consequences if not approached carefully – there are even student loan consolidations scams to be aware of.