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I was approved for a grant by the state to pay off the loans from my credential program because I'm teaching mathematics, which is a shortage area in my state. So I'm less concerned about those loans. But I'm curious what my options would be for refinancing my original debt at today's interest rates. I seem to remember something about how I couldn't reconsolidate with the government direct program since I already did that.

That's what I remember, too - one bite at the apple for the same set of loans. Since you have additional loans, you might be able to work something out with that, but I don't know what that will do to your grant.

However, even when you refinance, you won't get "today's rates". Consolidation of student loans is generally done based on a weighted average of the rates of the loans you are refinancing, rounded up.

Would a private lender be my only option to refinance?

I would check with your servicer first to see if they can suggest anything that might help you, as I doubt that the private lender would refinance into a better fixed rate for you - and do you really want a variable rate?

Given all the publicity about the "student loan crisis" - who knows, there might be student loan modification programs coming, too.

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