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Consolidating federal grad plus loans

You can find each lender below, along with information on rates, terms, and other key details. But remember, lowering your monthly payments could mean that you end up paying more in interest overall.Student loan refinancing: Refinancing is when a student loan lender buys out your existing loans and gives you a single new loan with a potentially lower interest rate.The bank joins two much smaller, peer-to-peer lenders, So Fi and Common Bond.

Those protections include access to federal income-based repayment and forgiveness programs as well as generous forbearance and deferral options.

“Those are very important rights,” says Persis Yu, staff attorney for the Student Loan Borrowers Assistance site run by the National Consumer Law Center.

“We’re approached by people who are having a really difficult time with their payments,” says Mike Cagney, CEO of So Fi, which so far has refinanced about $1 billion in federal and private loan debt.

“We’re not a good option for them.” Parents may benefit Parents who have federal PLUS loans, however, might consider refinancing into a private loan if they can win a large-enough interest rate reduction, Kantrowitz says.

This is because federal student loans typically have fixed interest rates, which means your rate will remain the same over the life of your loan.

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Private student loans usually have variable interest rates, which can change depending on economic conditions.Fixed rates can be as low as 3.6% at So Fi and Common Bond, while Citizens’ lowest is 4.74%.By contrast, current interest rates for new fixed-rate federal Stafford loans are 4.66% for undergraduates and 6.21% for graduate and professional students.We recommend the lenders above because we thoroughly evaluated them. Can I consolidate private and federal loans together? You can also extend the term of your loan, at the same interest rate.However, our team also researched other institutions and found some good alternatives for people that want to consider all options before they begin the process of refinancing or consolidating student loans. If you’re concerned about lowering your monthly loan payments, consolidation could be a good option for you.While a lower interest rate is good news, your new loan may not come with all the borrower benefits associated with government loans.For example, borrowers with federal student loans can take advantage of federal income-driven repayment programs, or benefits like loan forgiveness, which borrowers with private student loans typically don’t have access to.A proposal to lower rates on existing federal student loan debt died this summer when Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, failed to get the 60 votes needed to advance her bill.The legislation, which would have allowed people with federal and private loans issued before 2010 to refinance at 3.86 percent, received 56 votes for and 38 votes against it.Borrowers with older federal debt may have rates as high as 8.5%.While the best rates on consolidation loans are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers, Citizens has been able to lower its typical customer’s rate by 1.5 percentage points when refinancing private loans, says Brendan Coughlin, the company’s president of auto and education lending.

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