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Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.

You have to complete the application in a single session, so do your research before you start. You can consolidate all your federal loans or just some of them.

If you’re struggling under the pressure of your student debt, you’re not alone.

According to the Institute for College Access & Success, 69 percent of seniors who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt — to the tune of an average of ,950.

Borrowers with federal loans can consolidate through a government program.

Refinancing is when you take out a new loan under new terms — generally at a lower interest rate — and use that to pay off your original student loans faster or at better rates.