Pros and cons of consolidating federal loans

You can only consolidate student loan debt once, which means that if you consolidate today but would have realized greater benefits by consolidating two years from now, there is nothing you can do.There is an opportunity cost with student loan consolidation.

Some federal loans, such as Stafford loans, have subsidized interest benefits that can survive a consolidation. The loss of subsidized benefits can demonstrably impact the amount of interest that you pay on a debt.

Make sure you understand what you are giving up before consolidating.

As with any consolidation loan, the net effect of your new student loan may be that you end up paying more in interest (or even more in principal) when all is said and done.

This is especially true when you are extending the repayment length on the debt.

It is also possible to move into an alternate repayment plan to accommodate your changing life circumstances.