Direct consolidation loans are now the only type of federal student consolidation loan.Under the Direct Loan Consolidation Program, you can consolidate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs), Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs), PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEALs), and just about any other type of federal student loan.
You can consolidate all, just some, or even just one of your student loans.
Consolidating federal student loans may be a good strategy to lower monthly payments or to get out of default, but it is not always a good idea.
Both spouses are jointly liable for the loan and both must request IBR.
Problems often arise if the ex-spouses are no longer in contact.
This means, for example, that a Perkins Loan on its own cannot be consolidated into a Direct Loan.
You may consolidate with Direct Loans during grace periods, once you have entered repayment, or during periods of deferment or forbearance.APPLYING FOR DIRECT LOAN CONSOLIDATION All borrowers must now apply for Direct Loan consolidation using the web site. It is very important to review this sheet and check to make sure all of the loans you wanted to consolidate are included in the new consolidation loan.(Click espanol to find a Spanish version of the on-line application). Be sure to meet the deadline for responding if you think there are problems with the consolidation or if you have decided you do not want to go forward.Loans that are not eligible for consolidation include state or private loans that are not federally guaranteed.Although all of these different loans may be consolidated, you must have at least one outstanding FFEL or Direct Loan to obtain a Direct Consolidation Loan.The good news is that the Department explains on its web site that if any loan you want to consolidate is still in the grace period, you can delay entering repayment on your new Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to your grace period end date.