Consolidating loan private
If you can manage to add, say, an extra and pay 0 each month, you could in fact offset the time disadvantage that is introduced by paying less money towards your student loans.
Note: This doesn't apply to Spousal consolidation loans.
Student Loan Refinancing: This involves getting a private loan to replace some (or all) of your existing student loans.
You can consolidate Federal loans, but you cannot consolidate private loans.
Additionally you need to be current on your payments.
If your loan payments are in default, you will be required to make at least 3 consecutive monthly payments before you can apply for the Federal student loan debt consolidation loan.
Here’s an example: If your payments currently come to a total of 0 across multiple accounts and you apply for a debt consolidation loan, that payment could come down to say 0.
Furthermore, there are other potential benefits to taking out a consolidation loan as well (such as being able to take advantage of student loan forgiveness programs). For example, you might have 3 or 4 different student loans by the time you graduate college (one for every year you went to school).
Student loan consolidation makes this easier on you by making those 3 different loans into a single loan to make payments on. Although, a debt consolidation loan helps to simplify and streamline your payments, a downside to getting it is that your new lower monthly payments could also lengthen the amount of time you will have to pay off your loans by.
Tip: You could easily offset this by paying a little more each month.
This could also mean you won't qualify for student loan forgiveness programs such as PSLF. Consolidating your student loans could end up costing you more over the life of the loan if you forget a couple of things.
Immediately at consolidation, your new consolidation loan will be essentially equal to the sum of all your existing loans.
However, that could be worthwhile if you simply can't afford your payment today and don't have a choice.