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And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward –- and free. " There are two types of student loan consolidation: federal and private. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. We're on your side, even if it means we don't make a cent.If you choose an income-driven plan, you’ll be asked to provide income information on the application by granting access to your IRS tax information.You can opt out, but you’ll have to submit a copy of your most recent federal tax return directly to your loan servicer after you finish the consolidation application.So, for instance: If the average comes to 6.15%, your new interest rate will be 6.25%.
You’re generally eligible once you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.
As part of the process, you’ll need to provide details about your existing federal student loans, and choose a federal loan servicer and repayment plan for your new consolidation loan.
You have to complete the application in a single session, so do your research before you start.
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.
A bad credit score can cause banks to penalize you with higher interest rates or flat out reject your application.