Getting additional loans while consolidating

The higher your rate, the more interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan.If you plan to aggressively pay down debt in just a few years, the interest rate is less important.You’ll need to know if you have ​private student loans or with private student loans — when you refinance).

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Refinancing and consolidating will turn five payments into one, but this might be unnecessary unless you’re getting benefits out of the deal.

These days, it’s easy enough to automate payments and let your bank handle everything.

As you shop among lenders, evaluate all of the features below.

Interest rates: your rate is one of the most important features of your new loan.

The less you pay towards debt every month ​(including credit cards and car payments), the better.

If you can’t qualify for a private loan based on your own credit and income, you can potentially get help from a cosigner.If you’ve taken out loans in the past and you always pay on time, your credit should be in good shape.If you don’t have a history of borrowing (or you’ve defaulted on loans), you’ll need to build up your credit history to qualify for the best loans.In addition to application and closing costs, you might pay more interest over the life of your loan if you refinance.Even if you get a lower rate on your new loan, a (for example, a loan that will be paid off in 20 years instead of 10) can increase your costs.Consolidating private education loans can help you simplify and lower your monthly payments.

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