Candidates need to meet the eligibility criteria on how to consolidate student loans. A candidate can consolidate after their graduation, after they have left the school or drop below during half-time enrolment.
Moreover, there are some prerequisites before you ask the question how to consolidate student loans.
- The consolidation of loan should be within the repayment or grace period.
- You won’t be able to consolidate an already consolidated loan. If you want to consolidate it then you need to include the extra eligible loan in consolidation.
- You can consolidate an FFEL loan under some circumstances without going for an additional loan.
- If you want to consolidate a loan that has been defaulted, then you need to make the repayment in three consecutive monthly payments. Also, you can agree to repay the direct consolidation loan under the new scheme:
- Revised pay as you earn.
- Pay as you earn.
- Income based repayment plan.
- Income contingent repayment plan.
- Moreover, if you want to know how to consolidate student loans that fall under the case where you want to consolidate a default loan which is being repaid by garnishing your wages, you are not allowed to consolidate it until the garnishment of the wage has been removed.
Types of student loan which are eligible for consolidation are:
- Subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans.
- PLUS loans
- Federal Perkins and supplement loans
- Nursing student and nurse faculty loans
- Health education assistance and Profession student loans
- Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Steps on how to consolidate student loan:
- To apply for the consolidation of a loan, you can go through the website studentloans.gov. You can fill the details and submit the application form online. Also, you can download it and print an application from studentloans.gov for the submission though U.S mail.
- After submitting the application whether online or offline, the consolidation service provider will complete the required work to be done for your eligible loans.
- Until the loan you want to consolidate are in forbearance, grace period or deferment, you need to make the payment on the loans until the service provider informs you that the loans have been paid off by the direct consolidation loans.
- For direct consolidation loan the interest rates are fixed throughout the term period. The fixed rate is calculated by the weighted average of interest rates on the consolidated loans. It is rounded up to 1/8th of 1 %. The repayment begins within 60 days, once the loan is disbursed. You will be informed about the first payment by your loan service provider.
- You can mention in your direct consolidation loan application to delay consolidation of the loan, if you want the loan which comes under the grace period and until it gets closer to the grace period end date. By mentioning this way, you won’t have to make payments on your direct consolidation loan, until the closer to the grace period end date on your existing loan.