Chance to use consolidation to get out of default

If you are in default on your student loans, you cannot get new loans to go back to school, and you face severe collection procedures. Consolidation can give you a fresh start. You can consolidate defaulted student loans into a direct loan consolidation and stop collections including garnishments and tax intercepts. Be aware that if you are in default, your balance will go up after you consolidate, because collection fees will be added to the loan.

Unfortunately, private loans are not eligible for consolidation into a direct loan consolidation. And, beware of consolidating federal loans into a private consolidation loan. Federal loans have important borrower protections that you lose if you choose to consolidate federal loans with a private lender. Also, federal consolidation loans generally have lower interest rates. Only direct loans offer federal consolidation loans these days.

You can apply online for a direct loan consolidation. All applications submitted online are processed more quickly than those submitted by mail. Be sure you include the right information about the loans you are consolidating. You’ll need to know the balances of all your loans to complete the application. If you make mistakes on the application, it will probably delay processing.