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Total Student loan debt: $82,000

$22,000 in Federal loans at 7% so I cannot consolidate to a lower rate, therefore will continue to make payments as is. Federal rules are, balance needs to be $30k+ to extend payment terms. So I cannot extend the terms and get a lower monthly payment to make excess payments towards the principle on this Federal loan balance.

$60,000 Private loans at rates ranging from 3.25% to 7.75% variable. Banks are only consolidating to variable rates, so the benefit would be extending the payment terms to 25 years will hopefully continuing to make the original monthly payment so excess above the monthly payment goes towards the principle. This also gives the option for hard times and having the option to pay the lower monthly payment.

As of now monthly payments reaching $900/month. Life is pretty restricted and leaves very little money towards quality of life, since the % of income going towards student loans is very high.

Consolidating to a variable rate would be as follows depending on were the rate falls. (Not sure, but payments could be lower as if principal is paid down before the rate changes, the monthly payment would be recalculated at the new balance and rate????)

4.25% $517/month
6.00% $579/month
9.00% $695/month
12.00% $823/month

Please share your opinion and if this is a safe plan and if it is worthwhile. I could lose 1% or so on the lower rates I have if I consolidate at the rate the bank is offering, but would be saving on the loans at the higher 7.75% so I believe it evens out and allows the longer term and lower monthly payment.
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