Does consolidating student loans lower payments
The good news is that the Department explains on its web site that if any loan you want to consolidate is still in the grace period, you can delay entering repayment on your new Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to your grace period end date.
Further, borrowers with joint FFEL consolidation loans, according to the Department, may not reconsolidate into Direct Loans and therefore are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness. The fixed rate is based on the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans at the time of consolidation, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percentage point.These include deferment, forbearance, cancellation, and affordable repayment rights.Also, federal consolidation loans generally have lower interest rates.The interest rate must not exceed 8.25% for consolidation loans prior to July 2013.However, the interest rate may be greater than 8.25% if your consolidation application was received on or after July 1, 2013.This means, for example, that a Perkins Loan on its own cannot be consolidated into a Direct Loan.
You may consolidate with Direct Loans during grace periods, once you have entered repayment, or during periods of deferment or forbearance.
Borrowers in default may also consolidate in certain circumstances.
Consolidation was previously available to borrowers while they were still in school. Congress also eliminated joint consolidation for spouses, effective July 1, 2006.
This may be a good idea if you want a single monthly payment.
You may also be able to get a better deal if, for example, your credit score is better now than it was when you first took out the private loans.
(see box below), You can consolidate during grace periods.