Consolidating key alternative loans

Initially, these rates may be lower than the interest on fixed-rate loans. If you plan to pay off loans quickly when interest rates are low, a variable rate’s a good option.

If interest rates rise, however, your loan interest will rise with them. In August 2013, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 became law.

Refinancing is the process of taking out a new private student loan to pay off and combine multiple private and/or federal loans.

Refinancing may give you more options to reduce your monthly payment and interest rate, but refinancing federal loans can eliminate some of the benefits of federal loans.

Fewer payments every month may sound like a no-brainer, but consolidation’s not best for everyone. If you want to roll private and student loans together, you’ll need to explore refinancing your student loans.

Loan consolidation may offer just the wiggle room you need, however, if your original loans are more rigid. If you took out federal loans before 2013, you may have one of two types of interest rates: variable or fixed.

Variable interest rates can adjust each month, based on the interest rates available at the time.

Compare your current monthly payments to what the payments would be if you consolidated.

Keep in mind: the longer your repayment period, the more interest you’ll pay.

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