Federal Family Education Loan Program. More Info


Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number.


A loan where the government pays for the loan's interest while the student attends school. Students who demonstrate financial need on their FAFSA may qualify for these loans.


This loans are available to students regardless of their financial status. As of July 1, 2006, they carry a fixed rate.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid. More info...


A Process by which an individual may combine their federal student loans into one loan with one fixed interest rate and one monthly payment through its duration. More info...

Repayment Plans

  • Standard
  • Graduated
  • Extended Fixed Payments
  • Extended Graduated payments
  • Income Contingent
  • Income-Based
More info...


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On October 25, 2010, The president of the United States, Barack Obama, announced the institution of a new type of loans called Special Direct Consolidation Loans ( read it here). These loans are designed to help students pay their student loans in a more efficient way. The program is aiming to help people who are having problems paying their loans.

Things To Know...

  • The Special Direct Consolidation Loans will be available from
    January 17 through June 30, 2012. .
  • There is a distinct difference between regular Direct Consolidation Loans and SPECIAL DIRECT CONSOLIDATION LOANS. (Read more here.)
  • People interested in applying for Special Direct Consolidation Loans may NOT do so through the traditional Direct Consolidation Loan Website.
    (You can get more information about the REGULAR consolidation loans at http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov )
  • Not everybody will be able to apply for Special Direct Consolidation Loans. Please see Eligibilitybelow.
  • Eligible borrowers do not need to do anything to initiate the process. They will be notified by one of the four loan servicers.
  • Loan servicers will start notifying eligible borrowers on January 17, 2012. At this point, instruction on how to apply will be provided.
  • The application process will be handle electronically over the Internet.

Highlights of Special Direct Consolidation Loans

  • Consolidating reduces the number of payment to one per month opposed to having multiple payments to make toward multiple loans and to multiple servicers.
  • Each loan consolidated through this plan will have a 0.25% reduction.
  • An additional 0.25% reduction can be obtained by selecting automatic debit as the form of payment for the monthly billed amount.
  • If payments have been done through a Income-Based Repayment (IBR) payment plan, after consolidation, these payments will still count toward the 25 year limit for forgiveness.
    ( click here for more information on IBR loans .)
  • Special Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • If the loans consolidated are in deferment or forbearance status at the moment of consolidation, the new consolidation loan will inherit the same status.


Borrower Eligibility

  • Borrowers MUST HAVE at least one Direct Loan or ED-held FFEL loan.
  • Borrowers MUST HAVE at least one commercially-held FFEL loan.
  • Held loans MUST BE current or less than 270 days delinquent.

Loan Eligibility

  • ONLY commercially-held FFEL loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS, and consolidation) are eligible.
  • These commercially-held FFEL loans MUST BE in grace, repayment, deferment, or forbearance.
  • Loans that are in an in-school status are NOT eligible for consolidation.
  • Loans included in a petition to be discharged through bankruptcy are NOT eligible.

The Application Process

Eligible borrowers will be contacted by their Servicer. The servicer will provide instructions for the application process.

Eligible borrowers will be required to provide:

  • Their Social Security Number.
  • Education Loan Records. (see below - how to get your loan Records)
  • Account Statements.
  • Two personal references. (including their full address and telephone number)
  • Federal Student Aid PIN. (see below - how to get your FSA PIN)

Once the application is completed, the borrower will receive two emails. the first one will be a confirmation of the application, and the second one will be a notification that the application has been transmitted to the servicer.

According to the department of Education, it takes about 30 to 60 business days to finish the consolidation process. Once the consolidation has been completed, the borrower will have 30 to 45 days before the first payment is due. After the consolidation process is completed, your primary point of contact will be your federally held loan servicer.

How to Get Your Loan Records

borrowers can get their loan records by logging on to the The National Student Loan Data System's (NSLDS) website. to Login to the website, borrowers will need:

  • SSN (Social Security Number.)
  • Date of birth.
  • Last name.
  • FSA PIN.

Once borrowers have gained access to the website they will be able to access all the information relating to all their student loans, including: Important dates, interest rates, loan holder information, servicer, etc.

How to Get Your FSA PIN

To gain access to any of the Department of Education System's websites, borrowers are required to create a Federal Student Aid PIN (FSA PIN.)
To get a FSA PIN, borrowers can access the PIN Website at http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp.
Borrowers that have forgotten their PINs will be required to create a new one.
To create a new PIN borrowers will need their SSN, date of birth, full name, and complete address. For security purposes borrowers will be able to create a security question. After the application has been completed the borrower will receive a new PIN number.

Resources and Tools

Repayment Plans and Calculators From the Federal Studen Aid Website. Federal School Code Search From the Federal Studen Aid Website. National Student Loan Data System From the Federal Studen Aid Website. Income Based Repayment Plans (IBRP) From the Federal Studen Aid Website. Know Before You Owe: student loans Excellent source of infomaiton from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Messages From The White House

Oct 26,2011 How President Obama Is Helping Lower Monthly Student Loan Payments Oct 25,2011 White House Press Release - Fact Sheet - "Help Americans Manage Student Loan Debt" Oct 25,2011 We Can't Wait: Obama Administration to Lower Student Loan Payments for Millions of Borrowers Oct 25,2011 Helping Middle-Class Families Pay for College

Additional Reading

Tips On Consolidating Student Loans from Forbes's website. Consolidating Student Loans Not Always Best Option from Smart Money's website. How to Consolidate Student Loans By Suze Orman from Opra.com. 4 Reasons to Consolidate Your Student Loans from USnews.com.

More Information

What is Title IV Aid?

Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended in 1998, (Title IV, and HEA program) establishes general rules that apply to the student financial assistance programs. For purposes of Return of Title IV Funds, these programs include: Pell Grant; Academic Competitive Grant (ACG); National SMART Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); Federal Direct Loans; Federal Perkins Loans; Federal PLUS Loans. Read more here...

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Loan Servicers

Servicers are companies that manage all aspects of the loan administration including the collection of payments, customer service, disbursement of loans, process forbearances, deferments, and payments. Servicer are responsible to make sure that the loans are administered following federal regulations.

IBR Loan

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan for the major types of federal student loans that caps your required monthly payment at an amount intended to be affordable based on your income and family size. More Info

National Student Loan Data System

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.