Student loan consolidation is a great idea when used correctly and can help a student or a graduate out of a tough financial spot, however, they are not as financially beneficial as they first seem!Most student loans are of the variable type and repayments can go up as well as down, consolidation or refinancing is a good way to lock in a fixed rate especially when interest rates are low as they are at the moment.Student loan consolidation is generally only available to those students who have a good repayment history having always paid their student loans on time. However, should your repayment history be anything else but perfect it is not the end of the road as there are alternatives that can be looked into, standard debt consolidation loans and debt management plans to name a couple, so don’t give up hope.The rates applied to consolidation loans are generally 1-2% lower than those applied to the student loans they are replacing which doesn’t sound a massive saving but it will save you in the region of 50 to 60% on repayments. This may sound like good business, and in the short term it probably is, but in order to lower the repayments to this level an interest rate of 1 or 2% less just wouldn’t cut it so what actually happens is that the term of your loan is extended.This is a problem with consolidation loans that many choose to ignore as they prefer to see the immediate monthly savings rather than the amount that will eventually be repaid. For example, instead of having several, smaller, student loans each of 5 years repayment term, a consolidation of those same loans would decrease monthly payments massively but the the term of the loan could be extended up to as much as 20 years!A good way to utilize a student loan consolidation loan is to consolidate all loans to benefit from the lower interest rate but make the same repayments as were being made prior to consolidation and by doing this any debt will be cleared much sooner.Even if the consolidation was done because previous repayments were unaffordable there will be a time when you wil be able to increase repayments so plan ahead and make a strategy to clear your student debt.Your goal should always be to clear your student debt as soon as possible, in fact this applies to any debt you may have, and do so without sacrificing the cost of having a life too much. It is always beneficial to seek out and utilize methods of debt elimination that can give you the financial freedom you deserve.