Consolidating student loans in
Another common problem is that partial discharge of a joint consolidation loan under any of the discharge programs (other than death discharge) does not eliminate joint liability for the remaining balance.
Further, borrowers with joint FFEL consolidation loans, according to the Department, may not reconsolidate into Direct Loans and therefore are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness. The fixed rate is based on the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans at the time of consolidation, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percentage point.
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.
The interest rate must not exceed 8.25% for consolidation loans prior to July 2013.
However, the interest rate may be greater than 8.25% if your consolidation application was received on or after July 1, 2013.
The good news is that the Department explains on its web site that if any loan you want to consolidate is still in the grace period, you can delay entering repayment on your new Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to your grace period end date.
You can indicate this when you apply, and the consolidation servicer will wait to process your application until the appropriate time.
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.Using Studentloans.gov: You will need to sign in using your personal identifiers and PIN. You are required to select from the choices listed by the Department of Education). (“Joint and several liability” means that both borrowers are fully liable for the full amount of the debt). Not surprisingly, this caused a lot of problems for borrowers and Congress eliminated the program as of July 1, 2006.
The electronic application consists of five steps: 1. If may make this choice on-line or if you are sending in a paper application, you should send directly to the servicer you choose. The Department provides some general information about servicer performance in the on-line data center and quarterly performance reports. There are still many borrowers struggling with joint consolidation loans.
This may be a good idea if you want a single monthly payment.