Introduction Paying For and Selecting a College Federal Loans, Private Loans, and How to Tell the Difference Repayment Plans Student Loan Servicers and Ombudsman Offices If You Can't Repay Your Loan Loan Consolidation Programs Loan Cancellation/Forgiveness Programs If Your Loan Defaults Collection Activities Additional Information and Assistance Glossary Index of Resources
Loan Consolidation Programs
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. 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.
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.
For a list of federal loans you may consolidate and qualifications standards, contact your loan servicer or the U.S. Department of Education Loan Consolidation Information Call Center at (800) 557-7392.
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. If you consolidate or refinance your federal loans with a private lender, you give up certain benefits and protections that the federal government gives to federal student loans.
If you are a Minnesota resident with private or federal student loans, the Minnesota Legislature provided funding for the Student Educational Loan Fund Refinancing (“SELF Refi”) Program, administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The SELF Refi is available to Minnesota residents who earned a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree and meet credit criteria. Be careful in considering this Refi 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 and protections that the federal government gives to federal student loans. For more information about the SELF Refi, contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as follows: