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I'm completing my masters degree after this Spring semester. I have no debt from my undergraduate degree, but have accumulated around $20,000 for my graduate degree.

  • Currently my interest rates range from 2.250% to 8.250%
  • I have loans through two separate institutions (AES and SalieMae)
  • Most of my loans are for $1800 - $4200
  • I have about 8 loans altogether
  • Both my wife's and my credit scores are high 700s

In case you're saying "hey that math doesn't add up", my company is giving me funds to assist.

Anyway, is there a reason I shouldn't consolidate these after I graduate (or even immediately) at somewhere like earnest? Are there downsides to using consolidation services like this that I should be aware of?

  • Are they Federally-backed student loans (i.e., Stafford loans)? Or are these entirely private loans? – Joe Dec 14 '15 at 17:54
  • They're just private loans – MrDuk Dec 14 '15 at 18:02
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Refinancing a private loan to another private loan generally carries little risk, as long as you are using a reputable lender (and I won't comment on specific ones as I don't know them), and ensure that your interest rates are no worse than before - in particular, make sure they're not variable (as rates are nearly at a bottom right now, you probably will lose out with a variable rate loan) unless that's all that is available to you and you have variable rate loans anyway.

The main risk in refinancing loans tends to come when you have a loan with generous terms regarding repayments - particularly one that allows you to take payment holidays or to change your payment level based on your income. If you refinance, you might lose some of these benefits; be aware of what benefits you have now, and whether your new refinanced loan will have the same. With government-backed loans (Stafford, etc.), this is more of a problem usually (unless you refinance to another government-backed loan).

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