Refinancing is a word that comes to mind when thinking about mortgages, but what about student loans? Dealing with student debt is tough in any situation. Add in factors like a weak economy, high interest rates, and multiple loan services, and paying off your student loans can feel more daunting than the years of school it took to accumulate them. What many people don't realize is that it's possible to refinance student loans. Here are the three biggest benefits of doing so:

Consolidate multiple separate loans. It's often the case that graduates are juggling several loans, and these loans are often spread between different loan service providers. It can be quite the challenge to keep everything straight. When you refinance, it's often possible to consolidate all of your loans into one monthly payment.

Get a lower interest rate. One of the main reasons to refinance is to save yourself money in the long run. If you are paying down your loans at a high rate of interest (like most recent grads), it makes sense to refinance them into a loan with a lower rate. That means you'll end up paying less total interest on your loans. It also makes it easier to maintain and build good credit.

Pay less monthly. Perhaps the most exciting and immediate result of refinancing your student loans is that the resulting monthly payment should be much less. This, of course, depends on how you choose to refinance, but should you choose to switch to a longer repayment term, your monthly loan expense should drop.

If you are in a position to make consistent monthly payments, it could be in your best interest to refinance. Visit your nearest Columbia Bank branch to learn more about the course of action that is right for you, and feel free to contact a customer service representative with questions: (800) 522-4167, Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. (EST) and Saturday 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (EST).