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Now that you are facing the stress of dealing with the repayment of your student loans, you may want to opt for consolidation.

Consolidating student loans can be tricky, and several factors need to be taken into consideration when making your decisions.

Up to the student's cost of education, less any other financial aid received. Interest and repayment are deferred until nine months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Although Perkins Loans have repayment and forgiveness options that are not the same as those available for Stafford Loans, both Perkins and Stafford Loans may become part of a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan along with Stafford Loans.

For a Direct Consolidation Loan, contact the Loan Origination Center’s Consolidation Department at 1-800-557-7392. Borrowers may also go to the comprehensive Federal Direct Consolidation Loan site.Take time to study your consolidation options carefully before you apply, and talk to the holder of your loans for more information before you consolidate.Please note: Borrowers with prior loans in the FFEL Loan Program will be able to switch to the Direct Loan program if they want to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Income Based Repayment (IBR) Plan.There are Direct and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Consolidation Loans.Federal Direct Stafford and Direct PLUS Loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans, are eligible for consolidation, and others can be included.

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