Consolidating loans with different interest rates

For example, if you have Parent PLUS loans for a child and individual loans that you took out for your own education, you shouldn't consolidate them, says Adam Minsky, a lawyer in Boston who specializes in student debt.That's because Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for several types of income-driven repayment, and they carry that restriction with them in a consolidation, causing your student loans to lose those options, as well.3.

Private consolidation is a completely different story, though.

Consolidation usually gives you more repayment options, but it can limit them too.

Consolidation is often the first step borrowers must take to enroll in some of the government's more flexible repayment plans, including income-driven plans, many of which are restricted to borrowers with Direct Loans.

Consolidating those loans into a single new one can simplify your payments, especially if your loans are with different loan servicers, the companies that oversee your payments.

It can also be a way to get into repayment plans you otherwise wouldn't be eligible for.

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