Consolidating defaulted federal student loans
Using Studentloans.gov: You will need to sign in using your personal identifiers and PIN. You have four different “consolidation servicers”: Fed Loan Servicing (PHEAA), Great Lakes, Nelnet and Sallie Mae (now called Navient). (“Joint and several liability” means that both borrowers are fully liable for the full amount of the debt). Not surprisingly, this caused a lot of problems for borrowers and Congress eliminated the program as of July 1, 2006.
The electronic application consists of five steps: 1. If may make this choice on-line or if you are sending in a paper application, you should send directly to the servicer you choose. The Department provides some general information about servicer performance in the on-line data center and quarterly performance reports. There are still many borrowers struggling with joint consolidation 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.
The Department provides the following contact information if you have questions: If necessary, you can also try calling the general Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394. Both borrowers had to agree to be jointly and severally liable for repayment.
You can consolidate all, just some, or even just one of your student loans.
You will lose your rights under the federal loan programs once you choose to consolidate with a private lender.
The good news is that the Department explains on its web site that if any loan you want to consolidate is still in the grace period, you can delay entering repayment on your new Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to your grace period end date.