Loans that are not eligible for consolidation include state or private loans that are not federally guaranteed.
Although all of these different loans may be consolidated, you must have at least one outstanding FFEL or Direct Loan to obtain a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Borrowers in default may also consolidate in certain circumstances.
Consolidation was previously available to borrowers while they were still in school. Congress also eliminated joint consolidation for spouses, effective July 1, 2006.
(see box below), You can consolidate during grace periods.
You can consolidate all, just some, or even just one of your student loans.
Consolidating federal student loans may be a good strategy to lower monthly payments or to get out of default, but it is not always a good idea.
As you weigh the pros and cons, keep in mind that timing is critical.
With just a few exceptions, you get only one chance to consolidate with the government loan programs.
WARNING: It is very dangerous to consolidate federal loans into a private consolidation loan.
You will lose your rights under the federal loan programs once you choose to consolidate with a private lender.
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.