You can get a consolidation loan from any private lending institution with government approval, or from the Department of Education itself. Some offer favorable terms like interest-rate reduction for making on-time payments or choosing automatic withdrawal; others may offer repayment plans that better suit your financial situation.
Fin maintains a list of student loan institutions, including large banks; private companies like Sallie Mae; and state education system lenders like the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority.
However, don’t take our word for it – look for yourself.
You should do enough research to be able to negotiate the most favorable terms.
Public and private loans can’t be combined, but if you have multiple private loans, you can consolidate those, too; contact your lending institutions to find out how.
(There are no prepayment penalties for student consolidation loans.) If you have only a couple more years or a few thousand more dollars to go till you pay off your student loans, consolidation is probably more hassle than it’s worth.
Switching to a new lending institution might eliminate any benefits you’ve earned, like lower interest rates for on-time payments over the years.
The key terms for federal consolidation loans do not vary by lender: no application or origination fees are allowed and there are no prepayment penalties.