First things first. There are legitimate ways to temporarily postpone federal loan payments, such as deferments and forbearance before considering consolidation. If the student does not qualify for either, then they should consider consolidation through the Direct Loan program or shop around for private consolidation loans carefully for a low or fixed interest rate if they can find one, and read all the fine print. The student should never consolidate federal loans into a private student loan, or they will lose all the repayment options and borrower benefits.
FYI, there is no financial benefit to consolidating federal loans, other than having a single monthly payment and access to alternative repayment plans. In addition, consolidation is a bad idea when the student has only a couple more years or a few thousand more dollars to go until they pay of their loans. Switching to a new lender might eliminate any benefits they have earned, like lower interest rates for on-time payments over the years.by