How to Consolidate Your Student Loans and Cut Your Payments

Need help on story on how college grads fighting student loan debt should go about consolidating their student loans to help their cause. What are the benefits of doing so? Any drawbacks? What are the best ways to go about consolidating a loan, and why? What are the biggest mistakes, and why? Should you use a traditional bank or go another route, and why? All comments welcome. Requirements: Student loan experts, loan experts, bank experts, bank consolidated loan experts, investment advisors, actual students with loans, or who had them in the past.