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Consolidate Student Loans

Consolidate student loans with help from ACCC.

When you’re struggling to repay college debt, it may be helpful to consolidate student loans in order to make your monthly payments more affordable. But consolidating private student loans or federal loans may not be the best option for you. Alternative student loan services may actually help you pay off loans faster. At American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), we can help you understand all your options for paying off student debt, and whether you should consolidate student loans or consider another option.

As a nonprofit organization, our mission at ACCC is to help people just like you find the fastest path out of debt and live life debt-free. When you contact us via telephone or in person, our counselors will analyze your finances, lay out all the options and help you choose the best path for your financial situation. And if you choose consolidation, we’ll show you how to consolidate student loans most effectively.

Should you consolidate student loans? The pros and cons.

When you consolidate student loans, you essentially take out a new loan to pay off multiple old loans. There are many good reasons to consolidate student loans – you may be able to lower your interest rate or extend the payoff period, both of which can result in a lower monthly payment. If your original loans had variable interest rates, you can achieve more financial stability when you consolidate student loans by switching to a fixed interest rate.

The principal reasons not to consolidate student loans are that you may lose any benefits offered by the old loans such as rebates, discounts, or forgiveness possibilities. It’s important to note that after you consolidate student loans you can’t go back and “un-consolidate” them, as the old loans are considered paid in full and do not exist any longer.

What if you decide not to consolidate student loans?

If you decide that it’s not in your best interest to consolidate student loans, your ACCC credit counselor can tell you about other options for managing your student debt, including:

  • Alternate repayment plans to reduce monthly payments or extend the time to pay off your loans.
  • Student loan debt forgiveness programs, typically available to people who enter specific fields such as the military, healthcare, teaching, or community service.
  • Deferment or forbearance of your loans, which would allow you to postpone payment on your loans for period of time due to economic hardship.

Your ACCC counselor can also help you figure out what to do about defaulted student loans and provide you with free educational resources and helpful tools, including a student loan calculator.

Learn more about how to consolidate student loans with ACCC.

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