When you consolidate federal loans, the government pays them off and replaces them with a direct consolidation loan. You’re generally eligible once you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. Consolidating your federal loans through the Department of Education is free; steer clear of companies that charge fees to consolidate them for you.
My wife has two Navient loans. She was making regular payments but her principal kept growing. They would be months when none of her money was applied to principal even though she paid every thirty days. Then she would get a whopping accrued interest bill. We went to several agencies including CFPF protesting. They would ask Navient for a reply and accept anything Navient said and close the case.
To ask questions after you have submitted your Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note, contact the servicer for your new Direct Consolidation Loan. If you submitted your application online, your consolidation servicer’s contact information was provided at the end of the online process. If you submitted a paper application by U.S. mail, your consolidation servicer’s contact information was available when you downloaded or printed the paper application.
For example, if you have both Direct Loans and other types of federal student loans, and you have been making payments toward PSLF on your Direct Loans, you should not consolidate your Direct Loans along with your other loans. Similarly, if you have Federal Perkins Loans and you are employed in an occupation that would qualify you for Perkins Loan cancellation benefits, you should not include your Perkins Loans when you consolidate. Leaving out your Direct Loans or Perkins Loans will preserve the benefits on those loans.
Consolidating multiple student loans or refinancing a single private student loan may lower your monthly payment if you qualify for a lower interest rate or a longer repayment period. Keep in mind that extending the repayment term may increase the total amount you pay over the life of the loan. Alternatively, if you choose a shorter repayment term than your current loans, your monthly payments may increase, but the total amount you pay may be less over the life of the loan.
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