Consolidating both types of loans excludes borrowers from federal protections.
Private loans can typically only be consolidated with other private loans.
Know that you might need a higher credit score if you want the best rates without a co-signer.
Federal consolidation loans come with borrower protections private lenders may not offer.
And once consolidated, they usually have variable interest rates, O’Connor says. Consolidating private student loans when interest rates are low (like now) “could potentially save thousands of dollars.” It also means your interest rate can fluctuate higher as the years tick by.
Unlike federal loans, it can be trickier to get your private loans consolidated.