The federal student loans are originated by the Department of Education, which is also more known as ED in short. Actually, it does not directly collect student loan payments. This department assigns you a federal student loan servicer when it disburses your loan. One of the most popular federal student loan servicers is called FedLoan Servicing. It is the one that will actually be paying student loan instead of the Department of Education.
Talking about FedLoan Servising, there is a thing known as consolidation. When you are in the official website of FedLoan at myfedloan.org, you will be able to find about the consolidation from the Loan Basics menu.
Consolidation or Direct Consolidation Loan is the kind of thing that makes it possible for you to combine one or more federal federation loans into a single loan. If you think that consolidation is the right one for you, you can apply online at https://studentaid.gov/app/launchConsolidation.action. It is worth noting that if you are interested in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you will need to mark that on your application.
Consolidating could benefit some people. However, it is not for everyone. Before making a decision to consolidate your loans, you are encouraged to know all of the facts about it. Not only that, it is also important for you to calculate the advantages and disadvantages before submitting an application to consolidate. The potential advantages to consolidation include:
- You will be able to manage your federal education loan debt with one servicer and one monthly payment. Compared to with multiple services, is clearly more convenient.
- When completing an electronic application, there is a chance of you to choose the federal loan servicer that you want to help manage your Direct Consolidation Loan.
- It is possible to get the lower monthly payments by extending the time you have to repay your loan.
- For those with variable rate loans, your variable rate will be fixed into a fixed rate with consolidation.
- It is possible for the consolidation to make loans eligible for some repayment and forgiveness programs that are only available for Federal Direct Loans. These programs include Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), and PSLF.
As for the potential disadvantages of consolidation, the list includes:
- It is longer repayment term.
- Outstanding interest will capitalize or add to your principal balance at the time your loan is consolidated.
- Weighted average interest rate for the Direct Consolidation Loan is rounded to the nearest one eight of one percent.
- There might be potential loss of loan incentive program benefits.
- There might be potential loss of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefit eligibility.
- There might be a loss of qualifying PSLF payments.
- There might be a loss of qualifying Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan payments.
If the information about the FedLoan Servicing consolidation above is not enough or not clear and you have something to ask, you are suggested to contact FedLoan Servicing through phone number. You can also call the number if you face some difficulties related to consolidation. Calling the phone number is recommended as you will be able to get the fast and direct response. The number that you can call when you want to ask something related to consolidation is 1-800-699-2908.
Where can you call that number? The FedLoan Servicing phone number above is available on Monday through Friday starting from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET). Since it is a toll free number, feel free to dial the number at the time mentioned before. When calling the number, make sure to explain the issue that you are experiencing or the question that you want to ask clearly so that they can help you to find the right solution. It is better for you to prepare a note just in case you need to write down something.
Actually, it is not the only FedLoan Servicing phone number that you can dial if you want to ask something about consolidation. Aside from that number, there are two other more. The second one is 717-720-1985. This one is intended for those who are currently outside United States. Just like the first one, this one is also available on Monday through Friday starting from 8:00 AM to 9:00 ET.
In addition to these two, there is another one, which is 711. This one is support for hearing and speech impaired callers. If you are the one with hearing and speech trouble, you can call this number on Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET).
If you are not the kind of person who has a confidence in talking directly to someone even through phone, there are some alternatives for you. One of them is to send an email. As an effort to protect your privacy and to provide answers to certain account related questions, you are required to sign in to your account to send secure email. You can do it by going to https://accountaccess.myfedloan.org/contactUs/index.cfm?event=sendUsAnEmail.
Apart from sending an email, you can also send fax to 717-720-1628. If you have to send the documentation back via fax, do not forget to include either your Social Security Number (CCN) or account number so that your request can be processed as soon as possible.
Another alternative to call the phone number is to send a mail. If you want to send consolidation related letters, the mailing address that you can use is FedLoan Consolidation Department P.O. Box 69186 Harrisburg, Pa 17106-9186. As there are a few mailing addressed related to FedLoan Servicing, please make sure to not get mixed and only use the one for consolidation.
Actually, there is another way that you can try when you want to know something about FedLoan Servicing consolidation. While the ones above are official, you can also try to visit some communities or forums run by the community. Since most of them are able to be found online, you should be able to find them easily.