What are the benefits of consolidating my loan? Back to Top
Consolidating student loans will put all your existing loans into the Federal Direct Loan Program with the Department of Education. You will only have to worry about one payment instead of multiple payments. This makes it easier to manage your debt. Further, within this program there are options that can help make payments more affordable to certain borrowers and may forgive some portion of the loan balance at the end of the loan term.
Will my payment be reduced? Back to Top
In many cases yes, your payment in the new consolidated loan can be lower than your current payment. There are multiple plans to repay your student loan, one of which is the Income Based Repayment Plan. This allows your payment to be based on your annual income, which often times will allow you to qualify for a very small payment and in some cases even a payment amount of zero.
Is there a minimum or maximum loan amount that qualify? Back to Top
Can I defer my payments? Back to Top
Possibly. Once you are consolidated you may qualify to renew your deferment options.
Will I retain my subsidy benefits? Back to Top
Borrowers will be able to retain their benefits on subsidized loans when consolidated into the subsidized portion of a consolidation loan.
Am I eligible for a Direct Consolidation Loan? Back to Top
Borrowers must have at least one Direct Loan of Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) that is in grace, repayment, deferment, or default status to qualify. Loans that are in-school status cannot be included in the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program.
If you are in default, you can consolidate under the Income Contingent Repayment Play or Income Based Repayment Plan.
If you are already consolidated but have one loan which is not, you can add that one loan into the consolidation.
Can consolidate my loans or apply for government programs myself? Back to Top
Yes. You can certainly contact the Department of Education and see what programs you qualify for and apply. We find that many consumers prefer to work with our company since we have expertise work on their behalf to educate them about the programs available to them and streamline the process to get them in the pest programs for their situation.
Can my PLUS Loan be consolidated? Back to Top
Yes, PLUS loans can be consolidated.
Can I consolidate my Perkins Loan? Back to Top
Yes you can consolidate your Perkins Loan into the Direct Consolidation Loan if you include at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Educational Loan (FFEL). Perkins Loan cannot be included by themselves. There are some disadvantages to consolidating your Perkins Loan so you should consider them prior to consolidating them.
• You will lose your cancelation benefits, such as performing public services.
• Your grace period may be lost.
• Interest Does not accrue when your Perkins Loan is in deferment.
• Perkins Loans generally have lower interest rates but less flexible repayment periods.
Can I consolidate health professions loans? Back to Top
Yes, you can consolidate certain health professions loans sponsored through the U.S Department of Health and Human Services with other Federal Education Loans. You must still include at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan to qualify.
Eligible Health Professions:
• Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
• Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
• Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
• Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
Benefits of consolidating these loans would include lowering your monthly payment, having a longer repayment period, and having one single monthly payment.
Can I consolidate if I am currently enrolled in school? Back to Top
Yes but with certain conditions. Borrowers cannot consolidate loans that are an in-school status, but borrowers can still consolidate loans that are in grace, repayment or deferment.
I am already consolidated, can I consolidate again? Back to Top
Yes, as long as you are including at least one other FFEL or Direct Loan into the new consolidation.
Can I consolidate my loans that are in grace? Back to Top
Yes, you can consolidate loans that are in grace however you will lose any of your remaining grace period.
Can I delay my application so I don’t lose my grace period? Back to Top
Yes, you can delay your application to take full advantage of your grace period but you indicate you wish to do this on your application.
Can I consolidate my defaulted loan? Back to Top
Yes, as long as you agree to pay under either the Income Contingent or Income Based Repayment Plan, OR make satisfactory repayments with your current loan holder.
You cannot consolidate a default loan if a judgment has been issues against a defaulted loan which has not been dismissed.
Click here for more information on defaulted loans
Will consolidating clear the default notation from my credit? Back to Top
No, if you want to clear the default notation, you will need to contact your loan holder to discuss rehabilitation with them. If you decide to consolidate while in default, your default notation in your credit will also show that the loan was paid off in full. This notation will remain on your credit history for seven years.
What are the repayment plans? Back to Top
There are several repayment plans in the Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs:
• Standard Repayment Plan
You will pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full. Your monthly payment will be at least $50 for up to 10-30 years, based upon your total education indebtedness (loan amounts).
• Graduated Repayment Plan
Your minimum payment amount will be at least equal to the amount of interest accrued monthly. Your payments start out low, and then increase every two years for up to 10-30 years and is based on your total education indebtedness (loan amounts).
• Extended Repayment Plan
To be eligible, your Direct Loan balance must be greater than $30,000 and you will have up to 25 years to repay your loans. You have two payment options:
– Fixed Monthly Payment Option: You will pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full.
– Graduated Monthly Payment Options: Your minimum payment amount will be at least $50 or the amount of interest accrued monthly, whichever is
greater. Your payment start off low and then increase every two years.
• Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
Your monthly payments will be based on annual income, Direct Loan balance, and family size. They are spread over a term of 25 years.
• Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
Your monthly payments will be based on your annual income and family size, and spread over 25 years. You must be experiencing a partial financial hardship to initially select this plan and once you select this plan you cannot change to any other plan except standard.
For more in-depth information on the repayment plans, please see our Repayment Plans page
Can I later on change my repayment plan? Back to Top
Yes, most borrowers can change their repayment plan at any time once consolidated. Borrowers who are in the ICR plan must make at least 3 consecutive payments into the Direct Consolidation Loan account before changing to another plan. There is no limit to how many times you can change. Borrowers in the IBR plan can only change into the Standard Repayment Plan.
How long does It take to consolidate? Back to Top
It generally will take 60-90 days to consolidate from when the lender has received your application for consolidation.
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
SoFi: Fixed rates from 3.890% APR to 8.074% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.550% APR to 7.115% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.550% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.50% plus 0.04% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.