What is Direct Consolidation?
The Direct Consolidation Loan program is offered by the U.S. Department of Education to federal student loan borrowers. The Direct Consolidation Loan program allows multiple eligible loans to be consolidated into a single loan, which is then serviced by the servicer of your choosing (of which Nelnet is one).
Should I consolidate my loans?
There are a number of factors to consider before you decide if consolidation is the best choice for you.
- One servicer, one statement, one payment
- Lower monthly payments
- Possible access to alternative repayment plans you would not have had before
- Switch from a variable interest rate to a fixed rate
- Flexible repayment options
- No consolidation fee
- Make payments for longer causing you to pay more interest
- Possible loss of certain federal student loan benefits
- May no longer be eligible for some military benefits
- Interest rate may not be what you have today
*Note: Direct Parent PLUS loans are not eligible to be combined into a consolidation loan under the Pay As You Earn or Income-Based Payment (IBR) plans.
Am I eligible?
- Left school or temporarily withdrawn from classes
- Dropped below half-time status
Do you have one of these eligible loan types?
- Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
- FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program) Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
- FFELP PLUS Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Perkins and Federal Nursing Loans
- Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
- Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
Other factors to be aware of:
- Private loans are not eligible to be consolidated in the Direct Loan Consolidation Program
- Spousal consolidations (federal student loans you and your spouse consolidated into one consolidation loan) are not eligible to be consolidated in the Direct Loan Consolidation Program
- A PLUS loan made to the parent of a dependent student cannot be transferred to the student through consolidation
If it looks like consolidation will work for you, it’s easy to apply:
- Online: Complete your application at StudentLoans.gov
- Mail: A paper application can also be printed, completed, and mailed
- Just remember, you must continue making payments after submitting your application until you receive notice from your servicer that underlying loans have been paid off.
- You have the option to select the servicer of your choice (of which, Nelnet is an option)
Adding Loans to Your Direct Consolidation Loans:
After your new Direct Consolidation Loan is complete, you may still add more eligible loans to your existing consolidation. If you would like to add other eligible loans, your servicer must receive your Request to Add Loans Form within 180 days from the date your Direct Consolidation Loan is completed (originated).
If you choose Nelnet to originate and service your Direct Consolidation Loan, you may request to add other eligible loans to it by completing the Request to Add Loans Form and send it to Nelnet via email DirectLoanConsol@Nelnet.net, fax (402.858.3929), or mail to:
P.O. Box 82658
Lincoln, NE 68501-2658
Good to know:
- If you have more than seven loans to add to your consolidation loan, you will need to submit more than one Request to Add Loans Form.
- If it has been more than 180 days since your consolidation loan was completed, you will need to complete a new Direct Loan Consolidation application to add other student loans.