Consolidating college loans federal
Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.
When you consolidate federal loans, your new fixed interest rate will be the weighted average of your previous rates, rounded up to the next ⅛ of 1%.
You typically need a credit score at least in the high 600s to qualify, and rates range from around 2% to more than 9%.
This is often the reason that people cite when they say you shouldn’t combine federal and private loans.
Consider refinancing if you have: Use Nerd Wallet’s student loan consolidation calculator to compare monthly payments under three different scenarios: federal student loan consolidation, private student loan refinancing and income-driven repayment plans.
We’ve got you covered with our Student Loan Smarts blog series.
But if your income is over a certain threshold, you won’t benefit from these programs.
And if you do qualify, but you’re at the high end of the spectrum, your slightly lowered payments may come at a through the refinancing process won’t make sense for every borrower, but it provides great benefits for some.