Here are some factors you should consider when deciding if consolidation is right for you.
Are your monthly payments manageable? If you have trouble meeting your monthly payments, have exhausted your deferment and forbearance options, and/or want to avoid default, a Direct Consolidation Loan may help you.
Too many monthly payments driving you crazy? If you send payments to more than one lender every month, and want the convenience of a single monthly payment, consolidation may be right for you. With a Direct Consolidation Loan, you will have a single lender – the U.S. Department of Education – and a single monthly payment.
What are the interest rates on your loans? If you have variable interest rates on your Federal education loans, you may want to consolidate. The interest rate for a Direct Consolidation Loan is fixed for the life of the Direct Consolidation Loan. The rate is based on the weighted average interest rate of the loans being consolidated, rounded to the next nearest higher one-eighth of one percent and can not exceed 8.25 percent.
How much are you willing to pay over the long term? Like a home mortgage or a car loan, extending the years of repayment increases the total amount you have to repay.
How many payments do you have left on your loans? If you are close to paying off your student loans, it may not be worth the effort to consolidate or extend your payments.