By overly relying on these plans and using them as a sort of financial crutch, you could find yourself paying back your loans for far longer than you had hoped. In more extreme cases, you could actually find yourself moving backward, meaning your loan balances can actually grow because those more flexible payments don't cover the interest accruing each month.
However, if repayment flexibility is not needed and you feel secure in your financial situation, refinancing your federal loans with a private lender at a lower rate could turn out to be a no-brainer, after all.
It is important to remember that eligibility for refinancing is based on your financial health and is determined through financial underwriting. After all, financial technology companies and institutions alike will want to understand your financial situation so they can determine what new rate, if any, you are eligible for.