Consolidate Your Federal Loans

Want to simplify your life with one monthly payment? Consider consolidation. There is one caveat: federal student loans can be combined into Federal Direct Loan Consolidation but private student loans can't.

Traditional Direct Consolidation Loan

To lower your monthly payment and simplify loan repayment, consider a Traditional Direct Consolidation Loan. Based on the amount of federal student loans you combine, you may be eligible for up to 30 years to repay your student loans. Direct Consolidation sets a fixed interest rate based on a weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%, capped at 8.25%.

Click here if you are looking for information on the Special Direct Consolidation loan .

Practically every federal student loan qualifies:
  • Subsidized Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Stafford Loans
  • Unsubsidized FFEL Stafford Loans
  • FFEL Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • FFEL Graduate PLUS Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
  • Auxiliary Loans to Assist Students (ALAS)
  • Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
  • Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL)
  • Guaranteed Student Loans (GSL)
  • Federal Unsubsidized Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Subsidized Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
To qualify, you must:
  • Have at least one outstanding federal loan that qualifies.
  • Have a total outstanding federal loan balance of $7,500 or greater.
  • Be current on all your existing federal loans. You can't consolidate if you're in default.
  • Have graduated or left the program for which you borrowed money.

Pros

  • One monthly payment
  • One lender or servicer to contact
  • Lower monthly payment
  • No fees
  • No credit checks
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Borrower benefits or "Goodies" (cash back, reduced rates)

Cons

  • Takes longer to pay back
  • Requires application
  • Total cost of the loan is higher
  • May cost up to 1/8% more interest
  • Locked interest rate = if rates go down, your rate won't change
  • Lose benefits (if any) from previous loans

Special Direct Consolidation Loan

The US Department of Education is no longer accepting Special Direct Consolidation Loan applications as of July 1, 2012.

From January through June 2012, the US Department of Education will offer certain borrowers a Special Direct Consolidation Loan. During this period of time, eligible borrowers will receive an additional interest rate reduction on a portion of the loans consolidated.

To qualify, a federal loan borrower must have at least one Direct Federal Stafford, Grad PLUS, Parent PLUS, or Consolidation Loan AND at least one Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), Federal Stafford, Grad PLUS, Parent PLUS, or Consolidation Loan. Please be aware that other federal loans, such as Perkins Loans, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL), Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Nursing Student Loans (NSL), and Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) cannot be consolidated through the Special Direct Consolidation Loan but may be included in the Traditional Direct Consolidation Loan.

Qualifying Special Direct Consolidation Loan borrowers will receive a .25% interest rate reduction on their consolidated FFEL loans plus the .25% interest rate reduction for payments made through automatic debit.

Similar to Traditional Direct Consolidation Loans, your repayment length may up to 30 years depending on the amount borrowed. Special Direct Consolidation sets a fixed interest rate based on a weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%, capped at 8.25%.