The Department of Education is currently offering a special consolidation for student loans through June 30, 2012. This program is for students who have loans under the FFEL program. To qualify for this special consolidation you need to have loans under both FFEL and Direct Student loans.
There is a special consolidation website. The site URL is:
A list of your current federal student loans is available on the National Student Loan Data System. The URL for that system is:
To get access to these systems you will need your social security number, birthday and Federal Pin Number.
This special consolidation offers a 0.25% reduction off only the FFEL loans. If you also sign up for automatic electronic withdraw you will receive an additional 0.25% off your consolidated rate. Since student debt is increasing at an alarming rate these two options could save you a significant amount on your interest charges over the life of the loan.
The advantage of consolidation is to simplify the number of payments per month. It minimizes the risk of you missing a payment and defaulting on a loan.
For recent college graduates, you may want to forfeit the grace period especially if you do not have a job. Under some of the income dependent repayment methods you will not lose any benefits and you will lock in at a lower consolidated rate.
For more information on student loan repayment and loan forgiveness visit the EFC PLUS website which is part of College Affordability.