Or, if you're already enjoying various benefits and want to maximize them and still lock in a historically low rate on your debt, you might wait until next spring to consolidate.Just be sure you leave a one-to-two month window for your consolidation application to go through, and be sure it's a done deal by June 30, 2003.
But you may benefit even more if you consolidate your student loans at the new rates, which will be in effect for a 12-month period through June 30, 2003.
Still, that doesn't necessarily mean everyone needs to rush out and have their consolidation in place come July.
In some situations, it may pay to wait a bit, Chany said.
For instance, if you're a current student or a recent grad with Stafford loans, you enjoy an "in-school" interest rate that is 0.6 percent less than the repayment rate and you're given a six-month grace period following graduation during which you are not obligated to start repayment.
Once the new rates take effect July 1, the in-school rate will be 3.46 percent.