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Originally published Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 8:01 PM

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Thinking about consolidating student loans? Check here first

Here are a few websites that provide useful information on student loans.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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Student loans offer an invaluable avenue to help cover the cost of higher education. But they can also pose a financial burden on students once they graduate.

One method that recent grads can use to address outstanding education loans is loan consolidation. Several college and university financial-aid offices offer information about student loan consolidation.

But you might find some quicker answers regarding loan consolidation on the Web. Here are a few websites that provide useful information on the subject:

American Education

Services

www.aessuccess.org/manage/trouble_making_payments/consolidate.shtml

Breaks down the pros and cons of consolidation.

Credit.com

www.credit.com/products/loans/Student-Loan-Consolidation-Tips.jsp

Covers benefits and pitfalls of consolidation.

Federal direct consolidation loans information center

www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov

Select "Borrower Services" for information and application process.

Finaid

www.finaid.org/loans/consolidation.phtml

Features range of topics related to consolidating.

Studentloansforcollege.org

studentloansforcollege.org/studentloans/10-best-student-loan-consolidation-tips

Offers 10 tips.

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