Depending upon the total balance you are consolidating, you may extend the repayment period for up to 30 years with consolidation.The extended period makes the monthly payment amount more manageable; however, the longer your loans are in repayment, the more interest you will pay over the life of the loan.
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.
After 180 days, you will need to apply for a new Direct Consolidation Loan.
Request to Add a Loan to an Existing Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Mail your completed form to: Navient - Department of Education Loan Servicing Attn: Loan Consolidations Originations P. Box 6180 Indianapolis, IN 46206-6180 The interest rate is calculated by the weighted average of the interest rates of the loans consolidated, rounded up to the nearest 0.125 percent.
People who are working in the public sector or taking advantage of federal debt relief programs such as income-based repayment or public service forgiveness may not want to refinance, as these programs do not transfer to private refinance loans.
Consolidating student loans via refinancing is best for people whose financial position - in terms of employment, cash flow, and credit - has improved since they graduated from school.
When you consolidate federal loans, your new fixed interest rate will be the weighted average of your previous rates, rounded up to the next ⅛ of 1%.
So, for instance: If the average comes to 6.15%, your new interest rate will be 6.25%.
Learn more about when to consolidate and refinance federal and private loans.