Consolidating private student loans into federal student loans

If you have private loans, talk to your loan servicer.For federal loans, call the Department of Education’s Loan Consolidation Information Call Center at 1-800-557-7392.If some or all of your loans have variable interest rates, when you consolidate into a fixed loan may affect the interest rate of your loan.Consolidating federal loans with the federal government is free.Perkins loan borrowers have unique deferment and cancellation rights that may be lost when consolidating.Consolidation has important pros and cons to consider, especially since once your loans are combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan, they cannot be separated.

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You can learn more at the Department of Education’s Student Aid.gov/repay or by contacting your federal student loan servicer. With private student loans, you typically have fewer repayment options, especially when it comes to loan forgiveness or cancellation.Some debt relief companies and lenders offer to consolidate federal and private loans together into one new loan to lower your monthly payments or interest rate. Consolidating private and federal loans turns it into a private loan, which means you will lose the federal repayment benefits and protections of your federal loans, such as deferment and forbearance, income-based repayment plans, and loan forgiveness.Before you consolidate your loans, find out what it could mean for your specific situation.When you consolidate your loans, you get a brand new loan with new terms.If all of your education loans have fixed interest rates, it may not matter when you consolidate.