Start Consolidating student loans and forbearance

Consolidating student loans and forbearance

Read our reviews for help deciding which student loan may work best in your situation.

Federal loans generally have lower, fixed interest rates and can give borrowers more options than private companies to repay the loans.

At first glance, private student loans might appear to have lower interest rates than federal student loans – but those lowest advertised rates are only for loan applicants who have excellent credit scores.

The average college student won’t qualify for these rates or will be forced to sign with a cosigner.

Most federal student loans also don’t require credit checks to qualify.

If you graduate and work in public service – i.e., for the government or a qualifying nonprofit – the federal government also offers loan forgiveness options.

Also, many student loan rates are variable rates, which means that they can fluctuate based on changes in the market.

Private lenders have no obligation to offer forbearance periods or to defer payments due to hardship.

Some of the lenders we reviewed do offer that – but you’re taking a risk because most forbearance programs are arbitrary, meaning the loan companies can decide whether or not to grant you the forbearance period.