When refinancing your student loans, you get a new loan with a private lender such as Earnest and pay off your existing loans.

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Finally, you may have accumulated private loans and lines of credit offered by banks to help you meet the costs of your education.

It's paramount that you know where your loans came from so that you can be prepared to repay them in a timely fashion.

Department of Education made the landmark decision to allow you to choose your consolidation servicer (of which, Great Lakes is one) under the Direct Consolidation Loan program.

Since you must select a repayment plan on your application, start by determining which plan makes the most sense for your situation.

If you took out both federal and provincial loans, they will automatically consolidate if you live in: These provinces allow you to apply for both loans with one application, and after graduation, they consolidate the student loans via the Integrated Student Loans program. There are some provinces and territories that only offer one type of loan, either federal or provincial/territorial, so you'll only have one loan to repay anyway.

These include: In all remaining provinces, you could apply for both federal and provincial loans with one application, but these student loans will not be consolidated upon graduation.

When you refinance federal loans and private loans into a one new private loan you will no longer be eligible to use one of the government’s income-based repayment programs.

Following graduation from college or university, you may be one of the thousands of students facing loan repayment.

Federal loans carry a six-month grace period so there is time to develop a plan for dealing with them.