There are two ways to consolidate your student loan: federal and private one. If you need to consolidate a federal student loan, you do it through the Department of Education. Federal consolidation won’t lower your interest rate as it’s fixed. Furthermore, it won’t save your money.
You consolidate your private student loan with the help of the private lender. In this case, it’s possible to lower interest rate and get more beneficial terms.
Consolidating federal student loans is simple. You should go to studentloans.gov and log in with your Federal Student Aid ID. There you will fulfill an application form where you will mention all details about your existing loans and choose a federal loan services and repayment plan for your new consolidation loan. Then you submit an application and wait for the answer.
If you want to consolidate private student loans, you should apply for reputable reviews of the services that deal with it and choose the most suitable one.
Should I consolidate my student loans?
There is no exact answer without knowing your purpose. If you want to lower your interest rate, federal loan consolidation might not be the best solution. In this case, you will only lose your federal loan protections such as access to income-driven repayment.
Still, if you want to qualify for loan repayment programs, the consolidation might be a good variant.