Current interest rate consolidating student loans
But the longer you take to pay off a loan, the more interest you'll pay over time.
The sooner you can pay off your student loans, the sooner you can divert more of your savings to retirement, a home down payment or college savings for your kids.
You may even consolidate as a way to get out of student loan default, as long as you either make three on-time payments beforehand or choose an income-driven repayment plan. Flexible repayment options: Federal student loan borrowers can choose among several repayment programs.
The standard payback period is 10 years, but there are other programs, called income-driven repayment plans, that tie loan bills to income.
Here's how to decide whether refinancing or consolidating your student loans could make your finances more manageable.
The lender will also take your income and current debt-to-income ratio into account.
A parent, sibling or other responsible co-borrower can improve your eligibility or help you get a lower interest rate. They'll have to repay the debt if you can't, and that can be a major burden on parents nearing retirement age, for instance.
Variable interest rates may go up: Most refinance loans offer both variable and fixed interest rates.
Refinancing has the added benefit of reducing the cost of your loans if you qualify for a lower interest rate or monthly payment.
Be sure to weigh the tradeoffs before refinancing, though, especially if you include federal loans in the bundle.
In either case, you'll end up with a single loan payment, which can streamline your bills if there are several creditors billing you for separate loans each month.