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You’ll pay more in interest over the length of your new repayment term, but an income-driven repayment plan can make keeping up with your payments possible on a small salary. If you have older federal loans, you may have some with variable interest rates.Plus, if you have debt left over when the repayment term is up, it will be forgiven (but taxed as income). That means the interest and monthly payment can change according to market conditions.If your goal is to save money on your student loans, refinancing may be a better option for you than consolidation.Here are some reasons you might consider refinancing instead: 1. When you refinance, lenders will offer you different loan terms.Consolidation simply makes keeping track of your loans easier since you’ll have just one loan to manage and one payment to make each month. If you refinance, you can consolidate several loans into one.However, you can refinance both federal and private loans.
It will have a fixed interest rate based on a weighted average of the loans you consolidate.
Here are three situations when consolidating your student loans might make sense for you: 1. If you’re struggling to make your payments under a 10-year, Standard Repayment Plan, consolidation can help reduce your monthly payments.
When you take out a Direct Consolidation Loan, you can extend your repayment term to up to 30 years and get a smaller payment.
While extending your payment term can make your payments more manageable, keep in mind you’ll pay more in interest over the length of the loan. You want to qualify for an income-driven repayment plan.
If you consolidate loans other than Direct Loans, you can become eligible for income-driven repayment plans.