If you have a student loan, you both can and cannot refinance that loan. Sound confusing? It is, and it’s because of the different types of loans available and your finance options.
If you have a federal student loan (Perkins, Stafford, Direct PLUS Loans, PLUS loans through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, or are part of the Federal Direct Student Loan Program) you’re unable to refinance those loans; however, you are able to consolidate them under into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.
It should be noted that while a federal student loan consolidation is available for a Graduate PLUS loan, you can’t consolidate a Parent PLUS loan from the government. Loans from two different parties aren’t allowed to be consolidated (for example, a loan made to your parents can’t be transferred to you for consolidation), but there are repayment programs in place with the government to help ease the burden. Additionally, if you qualify, you can apply for loan forgiveness.
Private student loans, on the other hand, are able to be refinanced as well as consolidated, but this depends on the lender you obtained the loan from. It will take some research, but there are lenders available who have solutions to help you refinance student loans.