Whether you have private loans, federal loans or a mix of both, you will have to go through a private lender to refinance school loans. The federal government does not offer a refinancing program.
Typically, student loans refinance is more helpful for private, rather than federal (aka government) student loans.
Private student loans usually have a variable interest rate, which means the interest rate can go up (or down) over time. If your interest rate has gone up, you can refinance private student loans to get a new loan with a lower interest rate.
Federal student loans usually have a fixed interest rate, which means the rate does not change, and generally stays pretty low. It may still be a great idea to refinance federal student loans if you’re able to find a new loan with a lower interest rate.
But before you refinance government student loans, keep in mind that your federal loan will be replaced with a private loan. This means your new loan will be ineligible for federal student loan benefits like loan forgiveness programs or income-based repayment plans. If you’re not enrolled in a forgiveness program and not benefiting from income-based repayment, then refinancing federal student loans may actually help you.
If you have multiple loans, an alternative to refinancing is consolidating student loan debt. When you consolidate student loans, your loans are combined into one loan with one monthly payment. You can consolidate federal loans through the government.