We are trying to buy a house and the lender said this is affecting my credit score.” If by “over the limit” you mean your current loan balances are higher than the amount you originally borrowed, that’s not surprising.

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These are private loans where credit score and other conditions are weighed in. All federal and private student loans are installment loans and considered good debt because it represents an investment in your future.

If you have a tremendous job that pays really well and no dings on your credit report when you leave school, you could find a lender willing to give you a break on interest to get your business. Having installment loans in addition to revolving credit like credit cards is great for your credit mix, which makes up 10% of your credit score.

For example, a reader recently asked us if there’s a way to get approved for a mortgage, despite having education debt.

“My Equifax report says 10 of my 14 direct service school loans are over the limit.

However, you also could qualify when you leave school or are enrolled less than half-time.

You can’t consolidate private loans in the federal Direct Consolidation Loan program, but some private lenders allow you to consolidate federal and private loans together. Your rate is determined by the weighted average of the interest on the loans being consolidated rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.

Find out more about the choices debt consolidation offers.

Ideally, you would qualify for debt consolidation after graduation.

Even then, you need to consider how much you may end up owing in taxes on forgiven debt.