Congrats on your graduation soon! I doubt you've consolidated. You're basically getting a brand new loan, usually combining all of the others. The benefit is a single payment to make but you can also have you individual loans out together into one payment without consolidation. They also average your interest rates, which is good for some, bad for others. The new, 100% loan will lower your account ages on your credit report and possibly lower your score. With your balance, if you plan on paying off the loan, not working towards forgiveness, it might help you. You'll have to run the numbers. Once it's done though, it can't be undone. Paying ahead is great! Helps with the accrual of interest.