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STUDENT LOAN CONSOLIDATION
Simplify student loan payments. Get more out of life.
Consolidating private or federal student loans will help you simplify your payments. Compare rates from up to 10 lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free! Rates range from 4.9% to 14.51% APR.
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Federal student loans
Our lenders can consolidate some or all of your federal student loans into a private loan.
Private student loans
Lenders also consolidate private student loans from banks, credit unions or schools.
Parent PLUS loans
If you took out Parent PLUS loans for a student, you can consolidate them through Credible.
100% free to use
No service fee
Using Credible is 100% free. Get your actual prequalified rates and amazing customer support.
No origination fee
None of our partner lenders charge loan origination fees when you refinance.
No prepayment penalty
There's no prepayment penalty if you'd like to pay off your loans faster.
How to Consolidate Student Loans
Fill out a quick simple form (2 mins)
- One form to access options from top lenders
- Checking your rates won't affect your credit score
- Your information is not shared with lenders at this point
Choose an option you like (2 mins)
- Easily compare your prequalified options in one place
- Use our comprehensive tools to quickly find a loan for you
- Get actual rates based on your credit profile, no estimates
* Illustrative purposes, actual results may vary.
Provide your loan details (3 mins)
- Use our easy import tools to add the loans you want to consolidate
- Provide some additional details about yourself
- Get your lender's response in as little as 1 business day
Join thousands of others who have already saved by consolidating their student loans.
What Our Users Are Saying
Student loan consolidation: FAQ
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There are two types of student loan consolidation: private and federal. Both private and federal consolidation let you combine all your loans into one. But federal consolidation is only for federal loans and a private consolidation loan can combine both federal and private loans.
Federal: Federal consolidation is offered through the federal government in the form of the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program. It will combine all your federal loans into one so you don’t have to worry about multiple loans or servicers. You can also get a lower monthly payment if you want to lengthen your repayment period. The interest rate on a Direct Consolidation Loan is the weighted average of the rates on your existing loans, so you generally won’t save any money with federal consolidation, but it does help you simplify your payments.
Private: Unlike federal consolidation, private student loan consolidation allows you to combine both private and federal loans into one. It also gives you the option to lower your monthly payment by extending your loan term (which means you might pay more in interest over the life of your loan). Or you could shorten your loan term or potentially lower your interest rate — which could save you money over the life of your loan.
If you’re wondering if it’s smart to consolidate your student loans, the answer depends on your situation.
Typically it’s a good idea to consolidate your student loans if:
Your monthly payments are too high
Your interest rates are too high
You can afford higher monthly payments
You have too many loans to keep track of
Whether or not consolidating student loans is worth it depends on your specific situation.
Federal student loan consolidation could be useful if you’re struggling to manage multiple federal loans with different servicers. You might also use this strategy to extend your repayment term, which would lower your monthly payments. Lastly, federal consolidation can allow some borrowers — particularly those with Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) or Perkins Loans — to access repayment and forgiveness programs that they otherwise are ineligible for.
Private student loan consolidation, on the other hand, can help private and federal loan borrowers secure a lower interest rate, saving money over the life of your loan. You can also adjust your repayment term — shorten your term to get out of debt faster, or lengthen your term to lower your monthly payments. A student loan refinancing calculator can help you compare costs and savings for private loan consolidation.
Federal loan consolidation can take up to 60 days, but private consolidation can take as little as 5 to 7 business days.
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The best student loan consolidation companies offer generous student loan repayment options, competitive rates, low or no fees, and good customer service. To choose the best consolidation company, it’s a good idea to start by comparing your options.
If you just have federal loans and don’t want a lower interest rate, you should consider federal consolidation; but if you want to try to get a lower interest and/or have private loans to consolidate, as well, you should consider private consolidation.
Remember, if you consolidate your federal loans into a private student loans, you will lose the federal benefits such as certain income based repayment options, loan forgiveness, deferment and forbearance. You need to weigh these factors before deciding whether refinancing into a private student loan is right for you.
If you decide on private consolidation, Credible makes it quick and easy to compare multiple private lenders so you can find the right fit for you.
Federal consolidation doesn’t require a credit check. Private consolidation, however, does require a credit check. Each lender differs, but typically Credible’s partner lenders look for student loan borrowers with a score of 670 or above.
For federal student loan consolidation, there’s no average rate to consider. Instead, your interest rate on a consolidated loan is determined by the weighted average of the rates on the loans you consolidate, rounded up to the nearest eighth of a percent.
However, the rates for private student loan consolidation vary widely and change frequently. As of May 29, 2023, average rates on 10-year fixed-rate loans were 7.03% and rates on 5-year variable-rate loans averaged 8.71%. But your credit history, loan amount, repayment term, and choice of variable or fixed interest rates can all affect the final rate you receive.
To qualify for federal loan consolidation you must:
Already be in repayment or your grace period (you can’t consolidate while still in school or in default)
Have your FSA ID (same one you used for the FAFSA)
Have eligible loans to consolidate
To qualify for private consolidation you must have a:
Steady job and income
History of earnings
Good credit score (or a cosigner with one)
Good debt-to-income ratio (the lower the better, but typically below 50%)
If you can’t qualify for private consolidation on your own, considering a cosigner is always a good idea. And even if you can qualify without one, using a cosigner might benefit you by helping you qualify for a lower interest rate. Credible even lets you check your rates with different cosigners to see which can help you get the best rates.
Find Out: How to Consolidate Your Student Loans
With federal consolidation, only federal student loans qualify — private student debt is ineligible. Nearly every type of federal student loan can be consolidated, but certain restrictions exist. Parent PLUS loans can’t be combined with loans made directly to the student. Your loans must also be in repayment or a grace period, and if you’re still in school, you aren’t eligible.
If you are privately consolidating student loans, both federal and private loans generally qualify. However, each lender sets its own policies. Some may not consolidate loans made to parents, student loans made in other countries, or loans that didn’t result in a formal degree, among other restrictions. Always check that you meet the lender’s requirements before submitting an application.
The pros of consolidating your student loans are:
Simplify your payments: If you consolidate your loans, you’ll be combining them into a single loan with one payment. With private consolidation, you can even combine both federal and private student loans.
Lower your monthly payment or interest rate: You will usually be able to get a lower monthly payment with federal or private consolidation. But only with private consolidation will you be able to potentially get a lower interest rate.
The cons of consolidating your student loans are:
Might lose out on some benefits: If you choose to consolidate with a private lender, you could lose out on certain federal benefits like loan forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.
Learn More: Pros and Cons of Consolidating Student Loans
Although both are types of consolidation, federal student loan consolidation and private student loan refinancing are very different. Here’s how:
Federal student loan consolidation allows you to combine multiple federal loans into one loan with a single monthly payment, but won’t give you a lower interest rate.
Student loan refinancing is the private student loan consolidation mentioned on this page. It lets you replace both federal and private loans with a new loan with a potentially lower interest rate.
Learn More: Private vs. Federal Consolidation
Nothing. Consolidating with one of our partner lenders is completely FREE. None of them charge prepayment penalties, loan application fees, or origination fees either — so you can feel confident when you consolidate through Credible.
Getting a federal Direct Consolidation loan will not affect your credit. Simply checking prequalified rates on Credible will not affect your credit either.
But if you decide to move forward with the application process and choose a private lender to consolidate with, most lenders will do a hard credit check. This can impact your credit score a little, but typically only by five points or less.
It’s possible that your credit score could improve after consolidation, but it depends on many factors.
Federal student loan consolidation by itself isn’t likely to affect your credit, but your credit could improve with good habits. If you previously had trouble affording your payments and lowered them by consolidating to a longer term, for example, you could more consistently make on-time, in-full payments. Building a healthy payment history is one of the most important factors to your credit.
You can also use federal student loan consolidation to restore defaulted loans into good standing, but you must meet certain conditions to qualify for this process. While this won’t remove the default from your credit report, it can make your loans more manageable and set you up for future success.
Privately consolidating your loans requires a credit check, which could temporarily ding your score. But with smart debt management, private consolidation can also help your credit. Combining multiple loans into one can simplify payments, meaning you’re less likely to miss a due date. And by adjusting your loan term, you could make your monthly payments more affordable or get out of debt faster — both of which could help your credit.
For federal student loan consolidation, you generally can’t consolidate an existing consolidation loan unless you combine it with another loan that hasn’t been consolidated. However, there are some exceptions to this rule if you have FFEL Loans and meet certain conditions.
If you are privately consolidating student loans, there are generally no limits to the number of times you can repeat the process.
If you have federal loans that aren’t already part of the federal Direct Loan Program, consolidating federal student loans can make them eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Private consolidation, however, will disqualify you from student loan forgiveness. This means you can’t apply for any income-driven repayment plans either. So if you meet the qualifications for loan forgiveness, an income driven repayment plan, forbearance, or deferment, private consolidation might not be the best solution for you.
Additional resources to help you consolidate student loans: