flinch13, I have about 71k to pay back. The eligible loans only total about 9k.
Your balance on all your loans would be helpful to know.
Although a .5% interest rate reduction (IRR) is nice, you should be eligible for a .25% IRR now, if you sign up for auto bill pay. Also, some student loans offer an interest rate reduction for 36 on time payments. Maybe your lender you have now offers that, so the .5% IRR might be a wash (although the deduction now is better than the deduction in 3 years.
Also when you consolidate, you are stuck with that interest rate. When you make a payment, that interest rate never changes. If you don't consolidate, and you can pay more than the minimum, it is applied to the 6.8 interest loan, and your balance goes down. I have been paying more than the minimum and (obsessively) tracking my interest rate. Just like you, I had some loans at a high rate (6.
, and some at a low rate (2.11). When I started tracking the interest rate, It was 6.14%, by July it was 6.05, and even got below 6% this month. (plus this was after I got the .25% IRR for auto bill pay, what I'm trying to say is you can probably achieve the .5% IRR (or more) on your own with some work.
This is a new concept to me. I didn't know that my interest rate would drop with payments. How does that work?