If you borrowed federal student loans (Stafford or Direct) while attending UW-L, you must complete Exit Loan Counseling.
The recent years have been unstable in the student loan market due to the economy. As a result, in many cases your federal Stafford loans from various years are held with multiple servicers. Your loans prior to 2008-2009 may be held with the original lender. Your loans from 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 in many cases were sold to the Department of Education and are being serviced by an organization contracted by the Department. Loans from the 2010-2011, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic year are Direct loans and serviced by the Department of Education.
To view all of your federal loans and see the current holder of the loan and the contact information for that servicer, log in to www.nslds.ed.gov.
It is very
possible you will be required to make multiple payments to two
or more loan servicers.
Consolidating your loans into a federal consolidation
loan would allow you to make one payment for all federal loan
However, don’t jump into consolidation
There are many things to consider when evaluating if and when to
consolidate your student loan debt.
The advantages include:
- a single payment and
- a potential lower monthly payment.
- losing borrower benefits offered by the lender such as interest rate reductions and rebates
- consolidation increases the total amount of interest you will pay back since the length of repayment is extended. - consolidation loans have no grace period so repayment on a consolidation loan starts right away.
You may want to time a consolidation loan application close to the end of your six month grace period. Carefully consider if consolidation is right for you.
Obtaining a fixed interest rate used to be a prime reason to consolidate. However, all Stafford & Direct loans disbursed after July 1, 2006 are already at a fixed interest rate. Keep in mind consolidation averages the rates and considers the balance on each loan being consolidated and adds 1/8 of a percent to the interest.
If you do decide consolidation is the right choice for you, apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan with the Department of Education. For more information visit www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.
If your parent borrowed a Federal Parent PLUS loan on your behalf, this cannot be consolidated with your Stafford and Direct Loans.
If you have private (alternative) educational loans, you will need to contact the lender of the loan(s) with any repayment questions. Private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans. You will continue to have multiple payments if you have private alternative loans and federal loans, even if you consolidate your federal loans. If you are unsure where you borrowed private loans from, you may want to view your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. There are a few lenders who offer private consolidation loan products (Wells Fargo has a private student loan consolidation product).
Know What You Owe Brochure
Repayment Calculator You must enter the amount of loans that you have borrowed and the interest rates for those loans.
Understanding Income-Based Repayment (IBR) A short informative video to help you understand the features, eligibility requirements and benefits of Income-Based Repayment (IBR) for federal student loans.
Manage Your Loans
Graduating Students - Manage Your Loans