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Private consolidation is often referred to as refinancing.These processes are often confused, but they’re very different.To find the best plan for you, check out Federal Student Aid’s repayment estimators before you begin the consolidation application.The tool shows you how much you’d pay per month on the various plans.When you’re ready, go to studentloans.gov, log in, and follow these steps to apply: You can consolidate all your federal loans or just some of them.If you’re a parent with PLUS loans and you also have other federal student loans, you may want to consolidate your PLUS loans in a separate consolidation loan; consolidating them with your other federal loans will make that consolidation loan ineligible for all income-driven repayment plans except income-contingent repayment.
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The remainder of the application involves filling in basic personal information and providing names of two references who have known you for at least three years.
After you review, sign and submit your application, continue making payments on your existing federal loans until your application has been processed.
Your financial history — including your credit score, income, job history and educational background — will dictate your new interest rate when you refinance.
You typically need a credit score at least in the mid-600s to qualify, and rates range from around 2% to more than 9%.
Your repayment term will generally start within 60 days of when your consolidation loan is first disbursed and will be based on your total federal student loan balance, among other factors; click on the link below for more details.