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Remember though, refinancing your federal loans could mean giving up your certain borrower benefits like deferment and forbearance, loan forgiveness, and income-driven repayment plans.

However, because refinancing takes place with a private lender and not the federal government, you can a consolidated loan, as long as you refinance the entire amount.

Remember, since you’re refinancing a federal loan with a private lender, you will lose any federal borrower benefits that came with your loan, such as access to income-driven repayment, deferment, or forbearance, which are not always available from private lenders.

Although it might seem that you are getting a lower interest rate, your new rate is actually the weighted average of your previous interest rates, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.

So unless you’re changing your loan term, your monthly payment and interest charges will be about the same, or slightly higher, after consolidation.

Refinancing your loans can lower your interest rate and your monthly payment.