Earning a college degree is one of the most significant accomplishments in life. However, going to college these days, especially private universities can be costly and can put you well into debt if you are not careful. Many students need help to pay tuition costs and most college students turn to student loans as an option. During college, students do not think about repaying the loans back but soon after graduation the reality sets in. What is the best way to handle the school debt? One option is to use student loan consolidation as a means to assist in restructuring the finances of those students who have accumulated numerous loans. Here are some helpful tips to consider when you consolidate student loans:1) ResearchDo your research when investigating lenders. Don’t assume all lenders are looking out for your best interests. Just like you did in college, you need to make sure you do your homework and find a credible lending institution. While comparing and choosing the best lender to use you should consider flexible application procedures such as an online application and the ability to manage your account online. Loan counselors on the site can help you decide if what they are offering is what’s best for you. Take the time to compare the different incentives between lenders. This will enable you to make a well informed decision based upon weighing the pros and cons of each lender.2) Consolidate your federal and private loans separatelyMany times graduates will get one loan that consolidates all of their federal and private student loans. Be aware that if you do this, you could lose some of your federal loan benefits. One example is if you combine both private and federal loans you can lose out on the interest tax deduction benefit you get with your federal student loans. Try not to be hasty when going though the consolidation process as there are many benefits to keeping these loans separate.3 Manage your new payment scheduleWhen you consolidate student loans, most likely you will have obtained a lower interest rate. The lower interest rate combined with extended payment terms would result in lower monthly payments. Take advantage of the lower payments and pay more towards the monthly bill. It’s recommended that you pay about one-third more than the minimum payment. If you can do more then that’s better, but be sure that you can afford it. The benefit of handling your monthly payments this way is that you will pay off your loan faster than normal and at a lower rate.Student loan consolidation is a worthwhile option and can help to lift your student loan burdens. Research lenders and the sooner you consolidate student loans the faster you can take advantage of the benefits of low interest rates and lower monthly payments.