Nowadays, the cost of higher education is getting more and more expensive. Some families may not be able to afford to send their son or daughter for further education. Getting a student loan will help.There are 2 broad categories of student loans available. Government student loans and private student loansGovernment or federal student loans are funded and administered by the US Department Of Education. It is classified under Federal Student Loans Aid Program. They have very few requirements other than you are studying in a US college or university. International students may also apply though approval is on a case by case basis.Every year, the student loan aid program disburse nearly 60 billion dollars so it is a good choice for get a student loan from the government. Thus the interest rates are pretty low.Private student loans are funded and administered by banks and other financial institutions. These lenders provide student loans at a higher interest rate compared to federal student loans. Some common student loans available are from Citibank and Sallie MaeYou are allowed to apply for both private and federal student loans for your education needs although I would not recommend it.For some students who have a few student loans to repay concurrently, it can be a financial drain on their family finances. That is where student loan consolidation comes in.Student loan consolidation basically consolidates all your student loans into one loan so that it is easier to manage and make payments. When you are getting a student loan consolidation whether from the government or the private market, your existing student loans are paid for and erased by the student loan consolidation lender. The balances are transferred to the new student loan consolidation. Thus you start a new loan and only needs to make a single payment each month.There are many advantages to using student loan consolidation. The interest rates will be lower since it takes the average interest rates of your previous student loans. Thus due to government legislation, the maximum interest rate cannot be higher than 8.25 percent.It becomes a lot easier to manage a single student loan and payment are easier. The repayment options are quite flexible. For federal student loan consolidation, you can opt to start repaying after you have graduated from school. There are also several other options.Another beneficial side-effect of student loan consolidation is that it can also improves your credit score. Since you are effectively clearing all your old student loans and taking a new one, your credit score will increase and is important if plan to take other types of loans in the future.