It’s a good idea to consolidate your Federal Family Education Loans, or FFEL Loans, into a Direct Loan if you work in public service or have been making payments on your FFEL Loans for several years and hope to have the remaining balance forgiven.
Consolidation will also let you qualify for the payment pause and interest rate freeze and, thanks to a rule change from the Biden administration and the U.S. Department of Education, give you credit for the payments you made before you applied for consolidation and time spent in certain forbearance or deferment periods. This means that consolidation won’t reset your progress toward forgiveness. Instead, it will increase the number of qualifying payments you’ve made under the different student loan forgiveness programs.
Related: How The Limited PSLF Waiver Works
Another advantage of consolidation is that you’ll be able to access the same income-driven repayment plans and other flexible repayment options currently available to you. In fact, you’ll be able to choose from more IDR plans, which can reduce your monthly payments – particularly if you have Parent PLUS Loans.
All things considered, consolidating FFELP Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan is a solid option for most student loan borrowers.
Related: FFELP Loans & Student Loan Forgiveness