How do I apply for consolidation?
The easiest way to apply to consolidate your loans into a new Direct Consolidation Loan is online. You will have to log into your StudentAid.gov account to apply. You can also download the paper application and submit it by mail.
Make sure when you apply that you only include the loans you want to consolidate together in a single Direct Consolidation Loan in your application. If you want to leave out certain loans (such as Parent PLUS loans or Direct Loans), don’t include those loans in your application.
Remember, you can consolidate a single loan. If you only have one FFEL, Perkins, or Parent PLUS loan, you may still want to consolidate it to make it eligible for a relief program without losing benefits on their other Direct Loans. Although a single FFEL Consolidation Loan is generally not eligible to consolidate by itself, you can consolidate it by itself if you want to participate in the PSLF program or if you are consolidating to remove the loan from default. You are allowed to consolidate for this reason even if you are not currently working in public service, but think you might in the future.
When you apply, you will have to choose a repayment plan. And if you choose an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan you’ll be asked to submit an application for the IDR plan as well. For more information, see our page on choosing a repayment plan.
You will likely be asked to select a loan servicer from a list of choices. There is no obvious choice and there isn’t a lot of useful information for choosing between servicers. If you’re happy with your current servicer you may want to stick with them. If you are pursuing PSLF then you’ll be assigned to MOHELA.
Apply by mail
- Instructions for Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note
- Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note
- Direct Consolidation Loan Application Additional Loan Listing Sheet
- Direct Consolidation Loan Request to Add Loans
- Repayment Plan Request
- Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request
After you complete the application, send the forms to one of the four loan servicers below. You can choose which loan servicer you send these forms to.
PO Box 82658
Lincoln, NE 68501-2658 USA
PO Box 300008
Greenville, TX 75403-3008 USA
PO Box 300006
Greenville, TX 75403-3006 USA
Attn: ED Loan Consolidation
PO Box 300005
Greenville, TX 75403-3005 USA
What happens after I apply for consolidation?
After you apply for consolidation, your application will be processed and you will be assigned a new loan servicer for the Direct Consolidation Loan. It may not be the servicer you selected in your application.
The Department of Education will send you a summary that lists the loans that will be included in the consolidation and the repayment plan that you selected. You should review this information carefully and contact the Department if there are any problems. If you do not contact them promptly, they will assume the information is correct and will process the consolidation.
While your new monthly payment is being calculated, you may be asked to pay an initial amount that covers the monthly interest. If you cannot afford this payment, you may request a temporary forbearance that will last until you are notified of your actual payment.
Repayment on your Direct Consolidation Loan will begin within 60 days after the new loan is issued. Your new loan servicer will let you know when the first payment is due. Payments will not be due until after the COVID-19 payment pause ends in September 2023.
When can I apply for consolidation?
You can apply to consolidate your loans while you are in repayment or a grace period. If your loans are still in a grace period, you can ask the loan servicer to wait to process your application until closer to the time when your grace period ends, so you won’t have to start repaying before the end of your grace period.
If your loans are in default and you want to use consolidation to get out of default, there are some additional steps you have to take. See our page on consolidating your loans to get out of default for more information.
What can I do if I have problems with my consolidation application?
If you have any problems with your loan consolidation application, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.