August 25, 2020

How To Consolidate Your Student Loans

Chipper Help
In order to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, you must have direct student loans such as:
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Plus)
  • Direct Stafford Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

If you do not have one or more of the loans listed above, you will need to consolidate your loans into one direct consolidation student loan to be eligible for PSLF and IDR plans. Once you consolidate your loans, you will have a fixed interest rate based on the average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, and you will have a single monthly payment for the new Direct Consolidation Loan instead of multiple monthly payments on the loans you consolidated.

How to apply for consolidation:

You can consolidate your loans online via the Federal Student Aid website. To make it easy for you, we put together a quick step-by-step guide for how to consolidate your student loans. Click on the messager button at the bottom of your screen to request this downloadable PDF guide.

It is important to note, you will need to choose a repayment plan for your new direct consolidation loan. If you’re not sure which repayment plan is best for you, Chipper can help you decide! Through our Discover Tool, you can review the plans and programs you’re eligible for. Click here to discover your student loan options.

IMPORTANT:

If you’re consolidating your loans for the purpose of PSLF, you must choose one of the four income-driven repayment plans. For your choice of loan servicer, choose Fedloan since they are the only loan servicer that accepts PSLF applications. If you’re not consolidating for the purpose of PSLF, you can choose your existing loan servicer.

Loan types explained:

It can be pretty confusing to determine if your loans qualify for the plans and programs you want to pursue. That is why we put together a list of the loans that qualify for the income-driven repayment plans, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) programs. If you don’t have the loans listed below needed for the plan and/or program you want to apply for, you will probably need to consolidate your loans.

Loans accepted for IDR plans:

In general, loans that qualify for all four IDR plans include:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents

However, the different IDR plans accept some loan types over the others. Below is a list of the eligible if consolidated for each IDR plan as well as the loan types that are not eligible for each IDR plan.

REPAYE Plan:

LOANS ELIGIBLE IF CONSOLIDATED

  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents
  • Federal Perkins Loans

LOANS NOT ELIGIBLE

  • Direct PLUS Loans made to parents
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to parents
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents

PAYE Plan:

LOANS ELIGIBLE IF CONSOLIDATED

  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents
  • Federal Perkins Loans

LOANS NOT ELIGIBLE

  • Direct PLUS Loans made to parents
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to parents

IBR Plans:

IBR accepts more loan types than REPAYE and PAYE. There are two IBR plans (2009, if you took out loans before 2009) and (2014, if you took out loans after 2014).

LOANS ELIGIBLE

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents

LOANS ELIGIBLE IF CONSOLIDATED*

  • Federal Perkins Loans

LOANS NOT ELIGIBLE

  • Direct PLUS Loans made to parents
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to parents
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents

ICR Plan:

ICR is the only IDR plan that Parent PLUS loan borrowers can apply for.

LOANS ELIGIBLE IF CONSOLIDATED*

  • Direct PLUS Loans made to parents
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (from the FFEL Program)
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to parents
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that did not repay any PLUS loans made to parents
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans that repaid PLUS loans made to parents
  • Federal Perkins Loans

Loans accepted for PSLF:

Must have Direct loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Plus)
  • Direct Stafford Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

FFEL loans and Perkins loans do NOT qualify, but can become eligible for PSLF if these loans are consolidated into a direct consolidation loan.

Loans accepted for TLF:

Must have:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

Must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that a borrower obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.

Still confused or not sure which repayment plan and/or forgiveness program is best for you? Chipper can guide you through the process for free! Simply, sync your loans with us and we’ll display the plans and programs you qualify for!

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View your IDR and forgiveness options by securely linking your loans and providing your profile info here.

Use Chipper for Lower Payments

Chipper can help you find a student loan repayment plan that actually fits into your budget. You simply fill out your information and link your student loan account for us to generate your options in seconds. We help the average student loan borrower save over $300 a month off their student loan monthly payment. Lowering your monthly payment plan can game changing for your personal finance and can be done in minutes! Sign up for Chipper today to get on track with your student loans.

Use Chipper for The Best Path to Forgiveness

Finding your path to student loan forgiveness is easier than ever before. Chipper helps members find better Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans every day. Once enrolled in an eligible repayment plan, we can help you explore your forgiveness options and understand your path towards forgiveness. Sign up with Chipper today and get on track with your student loans.

Use Chipper for Round-Ups

Paying off your student loans doesn’t have to be a long and painful journey. Round-Ups are a way to directly pay off your loans with your everyday spending! By tracking your linked spending account(s), we will calculate the rounded up amount from each transaction in a week (IE spending $4.28 would add $0.72 to the weekly amount). We then initiate a payment towards your student loan for the weekly amount. Get chipping away on your student loans with Chipper today.

Use Chipper for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was created to provide relief to borrowers aiding the public sector. Unfortunately, 30% of applicants are denied due to incorrect paperwork. We can help! Chipper was created to solve this issue by assisting borrowers in understanding their options as well as allowing forgiveness eligible users enroll into the best forgiveness program available. Sign up for Chipper today to see your student loan forgiveness options and get the forgiveness you deserve.

Use Chipper for Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF)

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program was created to enable teachers working in Title 1 schools to receive student loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 (depending on their teaching subject). Chipper has helped teachers from all over the country qualify for TLF program and can help you get the forgiveness you deserve today. Find out if you qualify for forgiveness in minutes with our employer search tool.

See How Much You Can Save with Round-Ups

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