August 10, 2021

How Long Does It Take To Consolidate Student Loans?


How long it takes to consolidate student loans varies per loan servicer. Every loan servicer has its consolidation process with a timeline ranging between 30 and 75 business days, depending on the kinds of loans you intend to consolidate (federal or private).

Consider the following timelines for consolidating student loans to get a general overview of the process.

How Long to Consolidate Student Loans?

Loan consolidation may take several weeks or months, depending on your servicer. The process involves combining your existing loans into one new policy so you can make single monthly payments instead of multiple ones.

For federal student loan consolidation, expect a few months after application before your new consolidated loan takes effect. Meanwhile, consolidating or refinancing private student loans may take weeks, depending on a servicer’s unique process.

Consolidating Federal Student Loans

You must complete the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note in a single session to consolidate your federal student loans. This online process may take 30 minutes to complete, granted that you have gathered all your personal and financial information ahead of time.

After your application, your new loan servicer will contact you to determine whether you need to submit additional information. Expect 30 to 45 business days before you get results. Although this timeline is the Department of Education standard, some servicers require up to 75 business days for complete processing.

Meanwhile, you must continue paying your current loans until your servicer proceeds with the consolidation process. Once your new servicer determines your existing loans are eligible for consolidation, you can begin paying your new loan to pay off your old ones.

On top of their standard processing period, you may encounter processing delays due to unintentional errors. To ensure a smooth process, you may need assistance from a student loan advisor to help you prepare your application documents.

Refinancing Private Student Loans

Each refinancing lender has a unique process that typically takes up to three weeks to complete. Most private lenders take five days to review your application thoroughly and require two or three more weeks to process your payout.

This general timeline depends on how fast you provide your supporting documents. You will need to prepare your personal and financial information beforehand to ensure everything runs smoothly.

The private lender you choose for refinancing typically conducts a credit check to determine your rate. So, be sure to provide your most recent documents to access better rates.

Conclusion: How Long Does It Take To Consolidate Student Loans?

Expect up to 75 business days before you see your consolidated student loan payout. Consolidating student loans, whether they are federal or private, requires application and processing time.

You can apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan for your federal student loans online, which may take around 30 minutes to complete. Once you apply, your servicer may take between 30 and 75 days to complete the consolidation process, assuming you face no delays in the system.

Meanwhile, private student loan refinancing usually takes five days for application and an additional two or three weeks for processing. Each private lender has a unique system, so you might want to review your options before settling with one servicer.

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