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I am going to post a reply to my own question. My DB directed me to the historical trends of the rates of the 3-month LIBOR and prime:

http://www.briefing.com/morningstar/mtgdata/prm_lbr.htm

I had gotten the sense that LIBOR could be more volatile, and the graph gives a sense that historically, the two used to be about the same. Since the interest rates I were comparing were about 3 points over LIBOR versus 1 point over prime---the prime would be a safer bet.

As for my question about consolidation, the answer is not really, especially if there are new origination fees involved.
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