Student Loans

Loan Consolidation Programs

Federal Student Loansexternal link icon

If you have more than one federal student loan, it may be simpler to combine them all into one loan with a single monthly payment in a Direct Consolidation Loan.external link icon By doing so, however, you may lengthen your repayment period, which will require you to pay more interest over the life of the loan. Non-federal student loans may not be combined into a federal loan consolidation program.

For a list of federal loans you may consolidate and qualifications standards, contact your loan servicer or the U.S. Department of Education ( link icon).

Federal student loan borrowers often receive solicitations and marketing from private lenders that offer refinancing options at favorable interest rates or with other incentives. Borrowers should careful when they consider these offers. Changing your federal loans to a private loan will prevent the option of income-driven repayment and loan-forgiveness programs. And private loans don’t carry some other protections for borrowers that apply to federal student loans.

Image of a Stop Sign Beware of possible scams!

There is no application fee to consolidate your federal education loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. If someone requests a fee to consolidate your loans, you are not dealing with a U.S. Department of Education consolidation servicer.

Non-Federal Student Loansexternal link icon

If you have private or non-federal student loans, check with your loan servicer whether consolidation is an option. There are private lenders that provide options for refinancing private education loans,external link iconand may offer better interest rates than your existing loan

Minnesota SELF Refi Programexternal link icon

If you are a Minnesota resident with private or federal student loans, the State of Minnesota offers a program called the Student Educational Loan Fund Refinancing (SELF Refi) Program, administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The SELF Refi Program is available to Minnesota residents who earned a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree and meet credit criteria. Be careful in considering this refinancing option if you want to consolidate your federal student loans in this program, because refinancing federal loans to a non-federal program means giving up certain benefits, loan forgiveness programs, and other protections provided by law for federal student loans. For more information about the SELF Refi Program, contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as follows:

Minnesota Office of Higher Education
PO Box 64449, St Paul, MN 55164
(651) 642-0567 or (800) 657-3866 link icon