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A cosigner is someone who shares responsibility with the borrower for repaying the loan.
The cosigner doesn’t have to be a relative; he or she can be any adult who meets the eligibility requirements.
You can’t consolidate private loans in the federal Direct Consolidation Loan program, but some private lenders allow you to consolidate federal and private loans together.
The Direct Consolidation Loan program is the right choice if your goal is to simplify the process and keep your options open for the many repayment plans available for federal loans. Your rate is determined by the weighted average of the interest on the loans being consolidated rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.
It is not unusual to owe money to 8-10 separate lenders, maybe more if you had a combination of private and federal loans.
If you continue borrowing for graduate school, it’s easy to add another 4-6 lenders to the mix.
Rates are typically higher without a cosigner; however, borrowers that meet these requirements on their own do not need a cosigner (but may still choose to apply with a cosigner). Using student loans to pay for could cost you a whole lot more.