Consolidating debt for
(see box below), You can consolidate during grace periods.
This may lead to a lower interest rate on a Direct Consolidation loan, but only if you are consolidating variable rate loans. You will generally receive your first bills within 60 days after the new Direct Consolidation loan is made.
Under the Direct Loan Consolidation Program, you can consolidate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs), Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs), PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEALs), and just about any other type of federal student loan.
There are numerous problems that can arise–for example, if one of the divorced ex-spouses wants to apply for IBR.
The Department says that borrowers with joint consolidation loans may repay under the IBR/PAYE plan as long as both spouses qualify with partial financial hardships.
This may be a good idea if you want a single monthly payment.
You may also be able to get a better deal if, for example, your credit score is better now than it was when you first took out the private loans.
The Department strongly encourages borrowers to apply on-line, but you may also download and print a paper application to submit by regular mail. Prior to July 1, 2006, married borrowers could choose to consolidate federal student loans from both spouses or jointly consolidate the loans of either spouse.