(WTNH) — Student loan payments will be resuming soon for millions of borrowers, which may have you thinking about your options to lower payments. We’re Stretching Your Dollar with what to keep in mind before you consolidate.

October will be here before you know it — and the fall marks the restart of student loan payments after years of a pandemic pause. Before you consolidate to get payments under control, Money.com has some tips to keep in mind.

A consolidation may be a good idea to get you a shorter repayment term with lower interest rates and reduced monthly payments, but it comes with a price.

Refinancing means you’re doing so with a private lender, which makes you ineligible for federal student loan protections, such as any forgiveness opportunities or extended periods of deferment.

It’s also worth noting that interest rates can vary widely among private student lenders.

Think carefully to ensure this option is best for you.

Repayment is restarting after the Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s broad student loan forgiveness program. It’s unclear what the president will do next, but it’s likely any new forgiveness programs will be limited to federal loans.