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FFEL Consolidation Loans might be eligible for consolidation on their own.

However, you can’t consolidate Parent PLUS Loans with loans taken out in your child’s name, and all private loans are ineligible. The Department of Education doesn’t run a credit check when you consolidate your federal loans, so it’s open to all credit types.

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But you could end up paying a higher rate over a longer period of time, making your loan more expensive than it originally was.

To learn more about how they work, read our guide to student loans.

Consolidating your federal loans is free — there’s no application or origination fee.

Some private companies offer to help you with your application for a fee.

The application typically takes about 30 minutes to complete, though you might want to follow our step-by-step guide to get an idea of what to expect.

Before you get started, make sure you have a recent statement for each loan you’d like to consolidate on hand.

Your fixed rate is determined by weighing the average interest rate being applied to your existing loans that are eligible for consolidation, and then rounding this rate up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.

Please note, there is no interest rate cap on a Direct Consolidation Loan.

It can simplify your repayments and open you up to more perks. A federal Direct Consolidation Loan works by combining all of your federal student loans into one.

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