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And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. " At Nerd Wallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. There are two types of student loan consolidation: federal and private. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research.

To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. Private consolidation is often referred to as refinancing.

These processes are often confused, but they’re very different. refinancing Private student loan consolidation, or refinancing, means replacing multiple student loans — private, federal or a combination of the two — with a single, new, private loan.

But unlike the federal government, they can consolidate both federal and private loans.

The goal with this process is not only to get the ease of a single payment, but to receive a lower interest rate based on your financial history.

You may see a temporary dip in your credit scores after applying for a debt consolidation loan because lenders require a hard credit pull.

However, your credit scores should rebound if you make on-time payments and avoid running up new debt.» MORE: Find Your Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rate Additionally, you’ll get a new loan term ranging from 10 to 30 years.Your repayment term will generally start within 60 days of when your consolidation loan is first disbursed and will be based on your total federal student loan balance, among other factors.Log in to and click on “Complete Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.” You’ll need to finish the application in one session, so gather the documents listed in the “What do I need? You can either get a repayment timeline based on your loan balance or pick one that ties payments to income. Continue making student loan payments as usual until your servicer confirms consolidation is complete.” section before you start and set aside about 30 minutes to fill it out. Enter which loans you do — and do not — want to consolidate. If you pick an income-driven plan, you’ll fill out an Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form next. If you’re considering either federal or private student loan consolidation in order to get a drastically lower loan bill, look further into income-driven repayment instead.Student loan debt calculator Determine how much student loan debt you can manage based on your potential earning power.