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Eligibility requirements for consolidating your student loans


There’s a good chance you are eligible for a federal consolidation loan. Requirements vary by each lender, so check with them for more information on their fine print. Here are some general guides for eligibility:

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  1. You have any of the qualifying federal loans that are listed below.
  2. You have total outstanding federal education loan balances of $7,500 or greater. This amount can vary from one lender to the next, and some lenders will consolidate lesser amounts.
  3. None of your existing student loans are in default. If you are in default on a loan, you first need to make repayment arrangements with your lenders before they will consider consolidating them.
  4. You are no longer enrolled. In other words – you must have graduated or dropped below half-time.

Just about any federal loan – whether from the former Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program or the Federal Direct Loan program – can be consolidated. Private student loans that come from private lenders such as banks and are not subsidized or guaranteed by the government cannot be consolidated under federal loan consolidation guidelines. You can, however, consolidate your private student loans into private consolidation loans.

 

Also, if a student took out loans in his or her name, those loans cannot be combined in a consolidation loan with loans that a parent took out for the student. If the borrowers are different, the loans have to stay separate.

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