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Considering Consolidation?

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Are you tired of managing multiple federal student loan payments, with multiple interest rates or multiple servicers? If so, now may be the time for loan consolidation. The U.S. Department of Education made the landmark decision to allow you to choose your consolidation servicer (of which, Great Lakes is one) under the Direct Consolidation Loan program.

Ready to Go?

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What Is It? Is It Right for You?

Is Consolidation Right for You?

Loan consolidation can be a great solution for borrowers seeking convenience and ease in managing their student loans. Consolidation gives you:

One loan, one fixed interest rate, one monthly payment, one student loan servicer—of your choice, and no consolidation fee.

You're also able to maintain certain federal student loan benefits, including:

  • Flexible repayment options.
    You can choose from multiple repayment plans with various terms to repay your consolidation loan. Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plans offer flexibility and lower payments based on your income and family size. You may be able to change plans at any time, based on eligibility requirements. Visit StudentLoans.gov and click on the Repayment and Consolidation tab to estimate your monthly payment under various repayment options.
  • Your grace period.
    If any of your loans are in a grace period and you want to consolidate them, make sure to note on your application the date the grace period ends. Otherwise, your consolidation application will be processed right away and you'll lose your grace period.
  • Take care of your past due loans.
    When you apply for consolidation, you may also be eligible for a temporary forbearance that might bring your qualifying past due loans current.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) eligibility.
    Consolidation loans are eligible for loan forgiveness under the PSLF program if you meet the additional program requirements. Not all loan forgiveness programs can be maintained under a Direct Consolidation loan. Please check the U.S. Department of Education's website for more details.

However, if you're looking to consolidate you should consider the following:

Open Section Paying a different interest rate.
Open Section Paying more over the long term.
Open Section Your grace period.
Open Section Direct Parent PLUS loans are not eligible to be combined into a consolidation loan under the Pay As You Earn or Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plans.
Open Section Loss of certain federal student loan benefits.

To be eligible for a Direct Consolidation loan, you:

  • Must have at least one federal loan that is eligible for consolidation.
  • Must have loans in Grace or Repayment (including Deferment, Forbearance, or Delinquent) status.
  • Cannot consolidate your loans while you're still in school.
  • Can consolidate if your loan is in default, as long as you agree to pay your new Direct Consolidation loan under an income-driven repayment plan, such as Revised Pay As You Earn, Pay As You Earn, Income-Based Repayment, Income-Contingent Repayment, or make satisfactory repayment arrangements with your loan holder.

Ready to Go?

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