Cost of consolidating student loans

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Refinancing and consolidation are two ways to bundle multiple student loan payments into one—and in the case of refinancing, potentially save money on interest.

Whether to go for one of these options, though, depends on the type of loans you have and how much you stand to save.

Federal student loan consolidation is, as it sounds, available only for federal loans, or those the government makes.

Consolidating Perkins loans will disqualify you for forgiveness programs specific to those loans, but you can always leave them out of the consolidation process.But variable rates are just that: variable, which means they can go up or down depending on economic conditions.It's hard to predict when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates,so opting for a variable rate likely isn't wise unless you plan to pay off your loan quickly.Certain public service workers may qualify for loan forgiveness in just 10 years, tax-free.Extending your payback period can be tempting, since it will reduce your monthly payment.

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