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What are the requirements to consolidate a loan?
Here are some tips on qualifying for a Direct Consolidation Loan:
- You must have at least one Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan that is in a grace period or in repayment.
- If you want to consolidate a defaulted loan, you must either make satisfactory repayment arrangements on the loan with your current loan servicer before you consolidate, or you must agree to repay your new Direct Consolidation Loan under the
- Income-Based Repayment Plan,
- Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan.
- Generally, you cannot consolidate an existing consolidation loan again unless you include an additional Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan in the consolidation. However, under certain circumstances you may reconsolidate an existing FFEL Consolidation Loan without including any additional loans.
There are no application fees for a Direct Consolidation Loan, and you may prepay your loan at any time without penalty.
How do I apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan?
You apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan through StudentLoans.gov. This process offers both electronic and paper options. You can complete the electronic application as explained below or you can download and print a paper application from StudentLoans.gov for submission by U.S. mail.
Once you sign in to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID and password, you will be able to electronically complete the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note. The electronic application on StudentLoans.gov consists of the following five steps:
1. Choose Loans & Servicer
2. Repayment Plan Selection
3. Terms & Conditions
4. Borrower & Reference Information
5. Review & Sign
After you submit your application electronically via StudentLoans.gov or by mailing a paper application, the consolidation servicer selected will complete the actions required to consolidate your eligible loans. The consolidation servicer will be your point of contact for any questions you may have related to your consolidation application.
It is critical that you continue making payments, if required, to the holders or servicers of the loans you want to consolidate until your consolidation servicer informs you that the underlying loans have been paid off.
Whom do I contact if I have questions about consolidation?
This depends on your needs. ED has resources to assist you before you apply, while you complete the application, and after you submit your application.
To ask questions about consolidating your loans before you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, contact the Loan Consolidation Information Call Center at 1-800-557-7392.
To request technical assistance while signed in and completing the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note online, select the “Contact Us” tab in the top menu bar of StudentLoans.gov. From there, you can either complete and submit the feedback form or select “Additional Information” and contact the Student Loan Support Center at the phone number provided.
To ask questions after you submit your Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note, contact the consolidation servicer you selected to complete the actions required to consolidate your eligible loans. If you submitted your application electronically, your consolidation servicer’s contact information was provided at the end of the electronic 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.