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Some debt relief companies offer to consolidate your loans for a fee, but this isn’t necessary. You’ll have to submit your name, address, Social Security number, driver’s license state and number, contact information and two references who’ve known you for at least three years. This information should be on your monthly billing statement.
“Never pay a fee to consolidate your student loans,” says Kantrowitz. You don’t need to consolidate all your loans, and doing so may be a bad idea in some circumstances.
While both options involve combining multiple loans into one, private loan consolidation is generally referred to as refinancing.
This is because you’ll finance the new student loan based on a variety of factors, including your income, debts, employment and credit.
With private student loan consolidation, a private lender repays your student loans, which may include private and federal loans.