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Simply submitting an application for consolidation does not mean you can stop making payments.While federal direct consolidation is pretty straightforward, if you’re interested in private student loan consolidation, or refinancing, it’ll take a little more work.The only way to consolidate federal student loans is through the federal government, by using studentloans.gov, or by refinancing them through a private lender.But when it comes to private loans, there are a number of different lenders out there, all offering different interest rates and terms.According to the Department of Education, you cannot consolidate a loan with the federal government that’s already been consolidated, unless you add on an additional, existing eligible loan or loans.
Once you start the application process, you’ll need to complete it in one sitting.
If you answered “yes” to all of these, you might want to look into consolidating your loans.
If you’re more concerned about lowering your interest rate, private student loan consolidation, or refinancing, might be the better option for you.
For example, under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP), your Direct Loan balance may be eligible for forgiveness after 120 payments if you’ve worked in the public sector that entire time.
Similarly, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is available for teachers who work in schools that serve low-income families full-time for five consecutive years.