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I consolidated my undergraduate and student loans during a special "deal" the government was giving about ten years ago that locked in my rate at 6.8%. Since then, I also have taken on a bit more student loans for my teaching credential. 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. Would a private lender be my only option to refinance? And if so, what kind of rate should I expect now, and what are the downsides to refinancing with a private lender?
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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.

AJ
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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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Depending on the amount of loans and your income you could look into the Income Based Repayment plan. Because your in public service, any balance that exists at the end of 10 years would be forgiven. It would be a slower payoff, but if you qualify it might save you money in the long term.
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