The program will dissolve your remaining federal loan balance after you make 120 payments while working in a public service job.

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That means your payments will be tied to your earnings and your loan balance will be forgiven after 20 or 25 years.

Only federal direct loans qualify, so consolidating certain other types of loans into a direct consolidation loan will let you repay them on one of these plans.

Access to Public Service Loan Forgiveness: The same is true if you plan to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

There are so many choices to make when you take out student loans: big loan or small loan, federal or private, co-signer or no co-signer.

You’ve got just as many choices when it’s time to repay your loans.

If you’re deciding between federal student loan consolidation and refinancing, it’s important to understand the differences before choosing which makes the most sense for you.

Here’s a quick breakdown: Learn more about the two types of loan consolidation to see whether one is right for you.

[Skip to refinancing] This option is available only for federal student loans.

The government combines your separate loans into a direct consolidation loan, and it assigns you a 10- to 30-year repayment term based on your total balance.