What to Expect

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. Through your completion of the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note, you will confirm the loans that you want to consolidate and agree to repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan. Once the consolidation is complete, you will have a single monthly payment on the new Direct Consolidation Loan instead of multiple monthly payments on the loans you consolidated.

More Direct Consolidation Loan information is available on StudentAid.gov.

Important Note: If you currently have one or more defaulted federal education loans that are assigned to the U.S. Department of Education for collection and you want to consolidate the defaulted loans, you will not be able to complete the Direct Consolidation Loan application process on StudentLoans.gov. You must use a different process. If you want to consolidate one or more defaulted loans that are currently assigned to the U.S. Department of Education, go to http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/ to begin the consolidation process.

The Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note is not available in Spanish.

You must complete the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note in a single session. The session should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

You will be asked to choose a repayment plan. You should understand the details of the available repayment plans before you make a selection. General repayment plan information is available on StudentAid.gov.

If you prefer, you may complete a paper version of the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.


What steps will I complete when I apply online?


You will complete the Direct Consolidation Loan application process through the following steps:
  1. Review and select loans for consolidation and then choose the federal loan servicer you want to complete the consolidation and service your new Direct Consolidation Loan.

  2. Select your repayment plan.

    If you want to repay your Direct Consolidation Loan under the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, Pay As You Earn Plan, or Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan (these are called the "income-driven" plans), you will be able to electronically complete the IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request. To repay under one of the income-driven plans, you must provide information about your income. As part of the income-driven repayment plan request process, you may be able to provide your income information by using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval Tool. If you are unable to transfer your income information from the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or if you do not believe that the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) reported by the IRS accurately reflects your current income, you will be given instructions on how to submit a paper request and alternative documentation of your current income to the federal loan servicer that you choose to service your Direct Consolidation Loan.

  3. Read the Direct Consolidation Loan terms and conditions.

  4. Enter your personal and reference information.

  5. Review, electronically sign, and submit the completed Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.

What will happen after I complete the application?

We will send your Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note to the federal loan servicer you choose to complete the consolidation and service your new Direct Consolidation Loan.

Your unique situation will determine whether you, or in some cases your spouse, must complete other actions.

  • If you select the Standard, Graduated, Extended Fixed, or Extended Graduated repayment plan, you will not need to take additional action. We will email you and explain that your consolidation servicer will contact you after reviewing your application and your eligibility for the repayment plan you selected.

  • If you are not required to complete a paper IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request with alternative documentation as part of your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, you will not need to take additional action. We will email you and explain that your consolidation servicer will contact you after reviewing your application and your eligibility for the repayment plan you selected.

  • If you are required to complete a paper IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request with alternative documentation as part of your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, you will need to take action. You must complete and submit the paper IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request and alternative documentation to your consolidation servicer. We will remind you through an email that you can return to StudentLoans.gov and select "Direct Consolidation Loan Applications" located on the left navigation bar under "My Loan Documents" to print the paper request and your consolidation servicer's address information. Once your consolidation servicer receives the paper request and documentation from you, the servicer will contact you after reviewing your application and your eligibility for the repayment plan you selected.

  • If you select an income-driven repayment plan—IBR, Pay As You Earn, or ICR—and indicate that you have a spouse who must sign the IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request portion of your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, your spouse will need to take action before you submit your application or within seven (7) days after you submit your application. If your spouse is unable to co-sign the IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request portion of your application at the time of submission, we will place your Direct Consolidation Loan Application in a "Pending" status for seven (7) days. During this time, your spouse will need to sign in to StudentLoans.gov and co-sign your request. We will provide you with the information your spouse will need to access your request and co-sign it.

After your spouse co-signs the IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request portion of your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, we will email you. If you are required to complete a paper IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Request with alternative documentation as part of your consolidation application, you will need to take action after your spouse co-signs. We will remind you of the steps you may need to complete when we email you.

Note: Your Direct Consolidation Loan Application will change to an expired status if your spouse does not co-sign within seven (7) days, and you will need to submit a new application if you want to apply for a consolidation loan.

Who will I work with after you send my application to my consolidation servicer?

Once we send your Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note package to the consolidation servicer you select, you will work with your servicer for all consolidation-related needs.

  • If you have questions about your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, contact your consolidation loan servicer for more information.

  • If you want to cancel your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, contact your consolidation loan servicer for more information.

  • If you want to add additional loans to your Direct Consolidation Loan Application, you may do so within 180 days after your new consolidation loan is made without having to submit a new Direct Consolidation Loan application. Contact your consolidation loan servicer for more information.

What will my consolidation servicer do with my application?

Unless you are consolidating at least one loan that is in a grace period and request that your consolidation servicer delay processing your Direct Consolidation Loan, your servicer will begin by reviewing your application and your eligibility for the repayment plan you selected. Your servicer will contact you and let you know if additional information is needed to complete the processing of your consolidation application. Your servicer will also contact each holder of the loans you want to consolidate to verify that the loans are eligible for consolidation and to confirm the payoff amount. Your servicer will let you know in writing before paying off the loans. Finally, after the loans are paid off, your servicer will communicate and work with you to ensure the successful repayment of your new Direct Consolidation Loan.

If you are consolidating at least one loan that is in a grace period and request that your consolidation servicer delay processing your Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to the end of the grace period, your servicer will not start processing your consolidation application until the date that displays on your application after you select the number of months in the dropdown box. At the appropriate time, your servicer will complete the actions explained in the first paragraph.

Note: In all cases, it is critical that you continue to make payments, if required, to the holders or servicers of the loans you want to consolidate until your consolidation servicer informs you that the underlying loans have been paid off.


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