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I have a lot of debt from undergrad and medical school. When I was in medical school it was back when the Stafford loans were given out at a variable rate. I was fairly lucky (would have been better if I started a few years earlier) in that my first year's rates were less than 3% and second year was something around 4%. After that it jumped up to the fixed 6.8% it is now.

When I looked into it back then, you could only consolidate loans once to fix the rates, and once you did so you had to basically put them in repayment (though I can still defer or put them in forbearance for certain reasons). For subsidized Stafford loans this means they started to generate interest even though I was still a student. The rates went up a little bit and would have been a weighted average of the loans that were consolidated. So my loans were fixed at just over 3% and just over 4%. I haven't consolidated my subsequent loans because they are at a fixed rate anyway.

I've looked into options to reduce the rate on my 6.8% loans but I don't think there are any. You'd just have to pay off the loan with a new loan at a lower rate if you can get one.
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