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You should do enough research to be able to negotiate the most favorable terms.

Public and private loans can't be combined, but if you have multiple private loans, you can consolidate those, too; contact your lending institutions to find out how.

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To do so, you'll both have to agree to assume full responsibility for payment of the debt.So if your marriage ends in divorce, your loans will still be living together and one ex-spouse will be held responsible if the other refuses to pay up.The interest rate on your consolidation loans is the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans you have now, rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of a percent and capped at 8.25 percent. You can get help doing the math with an online calculator at the Federal Direct Consolidation Loans website.Click on "Borrower Services," then "Online Calculator." Interest rates are determined by the federal government and change each year on July 1, so check with a lender to get their take on possible rate fluctuation.Plus, consolidating could make it impossible for you to have a Perkins Loan forgiven or reduced.

If you can handle your monthly loan payment as is, carefully investigate how consolidating will change the total amount you're expected to repay.If you have all Direct Loans, you can even apply by phone.Besides basic personal contact information, you'll need to be able to provide data on the type of loan you have, its balance, and the current loan holder.In those cases, you may be able to have another go at it.Yes, a married couple can jointly consolidate their loans, but it may not be a good idea.You may also have access to a new repayment schedule (like an income-contingent plan) that's a little easier on your wallet.