Consolidation may not be for everyone. After you complete your program, you may wish to consider whether consolidation is right for you. Ask yourself:
- Do you have multiple loan servicers?
- Are you better able to manage repayment with one payment to one servicer?
- Do you need to extend repayment?
When considering consolidation, remember that you should always use a federal consolidation loan with your federal education loans in order to preserve certain forbearance and deferment rights and disability or death benefits. Most federal education loans can be consolidated using the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. (The exception is the Primary Care Loan, which carries a service requirement.)
The consolidation process combines all of your federal loans under a single new promissory note. The interest rate on the consolidation loan will be a weighted average of the rates of each prior loan, rounded up 1/8 of a percent. A weighted average means that they look not only at the interest rate of each loan, but also how much you have borrowed at each rate.
Make certain that all federal loans you wish to consolidate are included in your application. After you complete the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and promissory note, you have 180 days to include any loans that may have been overlooked by you or the consolidation process. You should check your loan servicer(s) website at 30 and 60 days to confirm that all federal loans you thought included show a zero outstanding balance.
Sign into studentloans.gov using your FAFSA PIN and look for the link on the left, under repayment, that says "complete Direct Consolidation Loan." You must complete the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan application and promissory note process in a single session. The session should take you about 30 minutes to complete.
You will be asked to choose a repayment plan. You should understand the details of the available repayment plans before you make a selection. General repayment plan information is available online.
Through your completion of the free Federal Direct Consolidation Loan application and promissory note, you will confirm the loans that you want to consolidate and agree to repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan. Once the consolidation is complete, you will have a single monthly payment on the new Direct Consolidation Loan instead of multiple monthly payments on the loans you consolidated.
- Review and select loans for consolidation and then choose the federal loan servicer you want to complete the consolidation and service your new Direct Consolidation Loan.
- Select your repayment plan.
- Read the Direct Consolidation Loan terms and conditions.
- Enter your personal and reference information.
- Review, electronically sign and submit the completed Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.
More Direct Consolidation Loan information is available online. If you have questions about consolidating your federal education loans before you apply, you can also contact the Loan Consolidation Information Call Center at 1-800-557-7392.
To discuss your consolidation options and whether or not it is right for you, contact EVMS Financial Aid for an appointment by phone at 757.446.5804 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.