If you need more cash in your pocket right now, consolidation can help by extending the life of your loan and thus trimming your monthly payments — although the length of your repayment terms will depend on the amount of debt you have, and you may not be able to extend at all.But if interest rates are low you can lock in long-term savings, since less of your money will go to interest.Timing is everything: You’ll need to complete all the paperwork and have it processed and approved before repayment begins.The downside is that your grace period will end once your consolidation loan goes through.For any college grads overwhelmed by multiple student loans, this can be extremely helpful.The difference between student loan consolidation and refinancing is a subtle distinction but no less important.You will need a verified Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID as well as personal information and financial information.Student defines these as follows: If you have only a couple more years or a few thousand more dollars to go till you pay off your student loans, consolidation is probably more hassle than it’s worth.
However, refinancing allows the borrower to seek better interest rates and repayment terms.
Yet despite the appeal — and its popularity — student loan consolidation isn’t for everyone.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help determine if it’s the right move for you.
You may also have access to a new repayment schedule (like an income-contingent plan) that’s a little easier on your wallet.
If you don’t care about the extra cash and just want a consolidation for the simplicity of a single monthly payment, you can use any money you save to pay down the principal.