The Federal Student Aid Office has an online application for consolidating federal student loans. This procedure is free, although some private companies may offer assistance for a fee. These private companies have no affiliation with the Department of Education.
Despite such third-party services, the online application is relatively straightforward to follow. Most applicants complete the online forms in under 30 minutes. However, you may download and complete the application forms instead if you prefer to fill out forms traditionally. Here’s how to consolidate federal student loans without using the Department of Education’s electronic application.
The Department of Education has a complete list of instructions for a paper application. Generally, the document reminds you to gather all your federal loan records, account statements, and relevant bills to have all information ready when applying for a Direct Consolidation Loan. Note that any incorrect or incomplete information may delay processing.
Once you are ready, you may download and fill out the following forms:
Next, you must select a repayment plan for your Direct Consolidation Loan. You may fill out either of the following forms to choose your option:
Finally, you must mail your completed application and repayment request forms as a package to your nearest consolidation servicer, which will complete the consolidation process. The consolidation servicer you choose will service your Direct Consolidation Loan.
You may send your paper application package to the following Direct Consolidation Loan servicers:
The Department of Education reminds applicants that Navient will handle the initial processing of your Direct Consolidation Loan if you choose Cornerstone, Edfinancial, Granite State, MOHELA, or OSLA Servicing as your loan servicers. Expect to communicate with Navient during this initial process instead of your chosen servicer.
Navient will forward your Direct Consolidation Loan to your chosen servicer once Navient completely processes your application. The servicer you chose will service your new Direct Consolidation Loan moving forward.
You may consolidate your federal student loans through the Department of Education’s online application process. This procedure is convenient and takes under an hour to complete. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, you may download the application and repayment request forms from the same webpage, where the Department links to the application forms.
Once you fill out your paper application, you must send your application package to the loan servicer of your choice. Your chosen servicer will provide monthly payment statements and collect payments on your new Direct Consolidation Loan. Be sure to stay on top of payments to avoid delinquency.