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Reconsolidating loans

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You'll also preserve the robust benefits of federal student loans, such as Income-Based Repayment, that private lenders don't offer.

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(Be sure that, at minimum, you can take advantage of deferment and forbearance so that you have some cushion in the event of an emergency).You may also qualify for a low interest rate, which can net you significant savings over the life of your loan.This Huffington Post piece can help you pick the best type of consolidation loan in just five steps.When even the basic term "consolidation" means different things for different lenders, the process can understandably seem daunting.But if you're looking to save thousands on student loan interest payments -- as well as time and headaches from managing multiple monthly payments -- then understanding the consolidation process is critical.The monthly payment amount may decrease because repayment can be spread over a longer time period.

Because there are no penalties for prepaying the loan in full or in part, borrowers may make larger monthly payments or extra payments if they wish.

The "refinancing" aspect is something the government does not really offer.

Refinancing allows you to get a better interest rate on your loans than you did when you first borrowed.

In his first job out of college as a local reporter in Green Bay, Wisc., he lived frugally while working for $13 an hour.

Federal consolidation loans allow borrowers to combine several federal student loans into one loan to streamline loan repayment.

Check out the official government site for all the details on eligibility.