There is no doubt that the best time to consolidate your federal student loans is during you grace period. Consolidation makes jumping into the repayment process a lot easier because it leaves you with one interest rate, one lender, and one monthly payment. However, what happens if you are planning on deferring your loans to go to graduate school? Should you still consolidate? And will you be able to consolidate again with your graduate school loans? The answer to both of these questions is yes.
When you go to graduate school you qualify for in school deferment of your federal loans. The easiest way to do this is to consolidate your loans first and then defer the new consolidated loan. That way you only have to defer with one lender.
Some students worry that if they consolidate their undergraduate loans before they go to graduate school they will not be able to consolidate again once they get out of graduate school. This is not true. Once you consolidate your loans you cannot consolidate again unless you take on new loans. Since the graduate student loans are new loans they can eventually be rolled into your first consolidation.
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