College students can take out new loans each year they’re in school, so by the time graduation comes, it’s common to have half a dozen, or more, individual loans.
Each of them may have different terms, including interest rates.
What’s more, consolidation typically results in the borrower paying more in total interest because consolidated loans are generally stretched out over a longer period, says Jessica Ferastoaru, a student loan counselor with Take Charge America. Consolidation usually gives you more repayment options, but it can limit them too.
That’s because Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for several types of income-driven repayment, and they carry that restriction with them in a consolidation, causing your student loans to lose those options, as well. Consolidation can affect your eligibility for forgiveness.
NEWSLETTER: COLLEGE_PLANNERSign up for COLLEGE_PLANNER and more View Sample 1. One of the myths of consolidation is that it makes your debt less expensive by lowering your interest rate.
Historically, that may have been accurate, since consolidation was often used as a way to lock in a low interest rate on variable-rate loans, says financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz.
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