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Refinancing student loans can make sense if you are confident in your work prospects.The terms are not as flexible as those that come with federal loan consolidation – the amount you agree to pay every month does not change. (The amount may change if you decide to refinance your student loan again.) Student Debt and Parent Plus Loans Parents can refinance their PLUS loans and may get benefits, like lower interest rates, which can lower their costs over the life of the loan.Student Loans that can be consolidated Not all federal student loans can be consolidated, and there are limitations.Additional considerations Federal loans may have higher interest rates than private loans, but they include a variety of repayment plans.Students who took out federal loans, such as the Federal Stafford and Plus loans before 2006, had variable-rate loans, and consolidating them through a federal program was a way to get a lower rate.As explained by Connecticut’s Office of Legislative Research, rates for these federal student loans changed from variable to fixed as a result of the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act.
Students who find themselves applying late should plan to use other means to cover the cost of attendance while their Direct Graduate PLUS Loan application is pending.Please note: Students planning to apply for a PLUS loan for the summer must complete an additional institutional application at the beginning of the summer term.A student may apply for a loan up to the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA), minus all other aid the student is receiving from all sources.Refinancing parent loans can have an additional benefit – assuming the now-graduate is ready to take on the debt, the parent can refinance the loan in the graduate’s name—the student has to apply for the refinancing– as long as all parties agree.Refinancing Parent PLUS loans has the same implications as refinancing student loans – the new loan, which is from a private lender, has new terms and will not include repayment options, such as extended and graduated repayment, that came with the original loan.