Should I Consolidate ALL Of My Student Loans?

A male student is reading something on a white paper.

Flickr user Jeremy Wilburn

By the time you graduate, you probably have taken multiple loans. This can make the monthly payments quite overwhelming as you have to keep track of different amounts to be paid back over different dates every single month. This is where the option to consolidate multiple student loans into one can come as a huge relief.

The Benefits of Consolidation

When you consolidate your loans, you are essentially combining multiple loans into one single loan with one monthly payment. This option makes the payments more manageable and lowers the risk of missed payments or student loan default. While this strategy may sound tempting, it is not always advisable to consolidate ALL of your student loans. You must be selective about which loans you choose to consolidate.

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Consolidating Federal Loans Can Lose Benefits

You have a few options when it comes to consolidating your federal loans. Most federal loans can be consolidated into the Federal Consolidation Loan (an apt name). However, consolidating the loans together can mean you lose certain benefits—such as certain repayment plans or a grace period.

Additionally, if you consolidate your federal loans with a private loan lender, you can also lose these benefits. So make sure you’ve thought everything through before committing. It can be a big help to speak with your lender first.

Consolidation does have its advantages but only if you proceed cautiously. Before you choose consolidation, read the terms and conditions of each of your loans and speak to your financial advisor so that you make an informed decision.

 

Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT EARNEST
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT LENDKEY
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT CREDIBLE
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.64% - 5.65%*
Fixed APR: 2.25% - 5.75%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT LAUREL ROAD
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.96% - 7.02%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT COMMONBOND
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.97%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 5.33%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.84%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.94%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ELFi

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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