Students twho have borrowed federal loans through multiple lenders (i.e. private lenders in FFEL Program and Federal Direct Loans) can consolidate their loan upon graduation. Consolidation is a choice and is not required.
What is loan consolidation?
Consolidation refers to the process that allows a borrower to combine a number of existing federal loans into one loan and one servicer. Borrowers usually consolidate their loans in order to work with one loan servicer.
Where can I consolidate my federal loans?
The federal government provides loan consolidation options for federal loans. Loans can be consolidated through the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Program.
Where can I find information about the servicer/lender for my federal loans?
You can find information about your lender/servicer by visiting www.nslds.ed.gov. NSLDS is a national loan database that provides you with important information about all of your federal loans.
Some people decide not to consolidate their loans because they would lose the borrower benefits that were provided by their lender. With the transition to Direct Lending, most loans are now serviced by 5 services which are assigned by the federal government.The 5 servicers are Direct Loans, Fed Loan Servicing, Great Lakes, Nelnet and SallieMae.
Where can I consolidate my loans?
Students can consolidate their loans after graduation but, it is advisable to wait until the end of your 6 month grace period.
Note that due to the recent legislative changes that require all colleges in the United States to participate in the DL Program, there will be a one year window when students can consolidation their loans while in school.
It is important to understand that if you decide to consolidate while you are in school, that your grace period will be eliminated and your loans will immediately go into repayment.