Best advice consolidating student loans

To help you make sense of it all, we debunked five of the most common misconceptions about student loan consolidation.

Although it’s hairy, consolidation is a good option for some student loan borrowers.

If you have both federal and private student loans, you will have to consolidate those types of loans separately. To guide you in making a decision about student loan consolidation, you can try a simple online assistant introduced by USDOE in the middle of 2012 to help students understand the basic principles of personal finance and apply that knowledge to their management of their student loans.

The assistant is called the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT), and it consists of a series of tutorials based on information from your own government loans, using that information to create a personalized analysis of your financial situation and offer appropriate advice.

Each one could have different interest rates and different repayment rules.It's six months for federal Stafford loans (sometimes called Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans), but nine months for federal Perkins loans.For federal PLUS loans, you probably have access to a six-month deferment (see details here and here). Stay in Touch with Your Lender: Whenever you move or change your phone number or email address, tell your lender right away.If you're having trouble finding a job or keeping up with your payments, there's important information here for you, too. Know Your Loans: It's important to keep track of the lender, balance, and repayment status for each of your student loans.These details determine your options for loan repayment and forgiveness. You can log in and see the loan amounts, lender(s), and repayment status for all of your federal loans.

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