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What is a Direct Consolidation Loan?
A Direct consolidation loan allows you to combine multiple federal education loans into one loan. When you complete the 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. Whenever the consolidation process 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.
What are the benefits of a Direct Consolidation Loan?
Direct Consolidation Loans allows the borrowers to combine one or more of their Federal education loans into a new loan, and with this comes several advantages:
- One Lender and One Monthly Bill:
Having one monthly payment makes it easier than ever for borrowers to manage their debt. Borrowers have only one lender, the U.S. Department of Education, for all loans included in a Direct Consolidation Loan.
- Flexible Repayment Options
Borrowers have the option to choose from multiple plans to repay their Direct Consolidation Loan, including plans that base the required monthly payment amount to depend on the borrower’s income. These plans are very flexible and are designed to meet the different needs of the borrowers. Furthermore, with a Direct Consolidation Loan, borrowers can switch repayment plans at anytime.
- No Minimum or Maximum Loan Amounts or Fees
There is no minimum amount required to qualify for a Direct Consolidation Loan!
- Reduced Monthly Payments
A Direct Consolidation Loan may ease the strain on a borrower’s budget by lowering the borrower’s overall monthly payment. The minimum monthly payment on a Direct Consolidation Loan may be lower than the combined payments charged on a borrower’s Federal education loans.
- Retention of Subsidy Benefits
There are two (2) possible portions to a Direct Consolidation Loan: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Borrowers retain their subsidy benefits on most types of subsidized loans that are consolidated into the subsidized portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan.
How do I apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan?
Currently, the U.S. Department of Education has 2 online processes that borrowers may use in order to apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan. Choosing which of the two online processes to use will depend on whether you want to consolidate defaulted federal education loans that are assigned to the U.S. Department of Education for collection. For help with the application process for a Direct Consolidation Loan please contact us today at 877-433-7501 and we will gladly assist you in the process.
Can I obtain a Direct Consolidation Loan if I don’t have any Direct Loans?
Yes, borrowers without any Direct Loans may be eligible for a Direct Consolidation Loan if they consolidate at least one Federal Family Educational Loan (FFEL).
Can I consolidate a PLUS loan?
Yes, PLUS Loans can be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan. However, if you consolidate a parent PLUS loan, your new Direct Consolidation Loan cannot be repaid under the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan.
Can I Consolidate a Perkins Loan?
- Yes, it is possible to consolidate Perkins Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan if borrowers include at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) in their request. Perkins Loans cannot be included in a Direct Consolidation Loan by themselves. Furthermore, all Perkins Loans consolidated into the Direct Loan Program will be included in the unsubsidized portion of the Direct Consolidation Loan.
Borrowers should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of including a Perkins Loan in a consolidation loan. While the borrowers gain the benefits of the Direct Consolidation Loan Program, they also lose the benefits associated with the Perkins Loan Program.
We recommend that you consider the following points prior to making a decision:
Borrowers may qualify for cancellation of some or all of their Perkins Loans in exchange performing certain kinds of public service. These cancellation benefits are lost when a Perkins Loan is included in a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Perkins Loans have a grace period of 6-9 months. When a Perkins loan is consolidated, any remaining grace period is lost.
Interest does not accrue when a Perkins Loan is placed in deferment. However, a Perkins Loan is included in the unsubsidized portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan, and borrowers are responsible for interest that accrues on the unsubsidized portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan during deferment periods.
Perkins Loans generally have a lower interest rate but have a less flexible repayment period of 10 years.
Can I consolidate health professions loans?
Yes, With a Direct Consolidation Loan, borrowers can include certain health profession loans sponsored through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with other Federal education loans in their Direct Consolidation Loan. Borrowers must include at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program in the Direct Consolidation Loan.
Eligible Health Professions Loans
- Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
- Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
- Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
- Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
Direct Consolidation Loans offer many advantages to borrowers of health professions loans. These include:
- a longer repayment period, which may result in a lower monthly payment;
- a single monthly payment
When deciding to consolidate a health professions loans, consider the following advantages:
Borrowers who have defaulted on a HEAL may include the collection costs and late fees in a Direct Consolidation Loan. These fees may not be included in HEAL Refinancing.
To qualify for an in-school deferment, Direct Consolidation Loan borrowers must be attending school at least half-time. HPSL, HEAL, and LDS borrowers are required to attend school full time to be eligible for an in-school deferment.
What is a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
The MPN is a promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years).There are two types of Master Promissory Notes in the Direct Loan Program: one for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and one for Direct PLUS Loans.
If you are an undergraduate or a graduate/professional student attending a school that is authorized and chooses to make multiple loans under the same Master Promissory Note for more than one academic year, you may be required to sign only one MPN for all of your Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you enroll in college as a freshman and borrow under the Direct Loan Program for all years of study, you may be able to borrow under this one MPN for all academic years.If you are a graduate/professional student attending a school that is authorized and chooses to make multiple loans under the same MPN for more than one academic year, you may be required to sign only one MPN for all of your Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You may be able to borrow under this one MPN for all academic years of graduate/professional study.
Note: Graduate/professional students aren’t eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.If you are a parent whose child is attending a school that is authorized and chooses to make multiple loans under the same MPN for more than one academic year, you may be required to sign only one MPN for all of your Direct PLUS Loans. You may be able to borrow under this one MPN for all academic years of that child’s undergraduate study.
Note: Parents must sign an MPN for each child for whom they are borrowing.
What is a Direct PLUS Loan for parents?
Direct PLUS Loans are loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
What is a Direct PLUS Loan for graduate/professional students?
Direct PLUS Loans are loans available to graduate/professional students to help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
What must I do to have any remaining balances on my Direct Loans forgiven under the PSLF Program?
- You must make 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments on your Direct Loans. Only payments made after October 1, 2007 qualify.
- You must make those payments under a qualifying repayment plan.
- When you make each of those payments, you must be working full-time at a qualifying public service organization.
What are Income-Driven Repayment Plans
If you happen to be a Federal student loan borrower, then you could be eligible for certain repayment plans that tie your monthly loan payment to your income. Currently the Department of Education offers three types of Income-Driven Repayment Plans: Income-Based Program, Income-Contingent Program and Pay as You Earn.
Is there a Guarantee?
If your initial application for a recommended consolidation program is denied by DOE: We will, at our own expense, negotiate and resubmit new application to DOE for acceptance into a similar program with similar terms to the original agreed on terms. If it is determined that after re-submission or negotiation that we cannot provide acceptable terms, then at your request: We will reimburse 100% of the Processing Fees and Monthly Maintenance and Membership Fees paid.