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These circumstances are: Borrowers cannot consolidate private student loans with the federal consolidation loan programs.

However, if you have private loans, you may want to think about consolidating these loans into a new private consolidation loan.

Another common problem is that partial discharge of a joint consolidation loan under any of the discharge programs (other than death discharge) does not eliminate joint liability for the remaining balance.

Further, borrowers with joint FFEL consolidation loans, according to the Department, may not reconsolidate into Direct Loans and therefore are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness. The fixed rate is based on the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans at the time of consolidation, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percentage point.

The Department strongly encourages borrowers to apply on-line, but you may also download and print a paper application to submit by regular mail. Prior to July 1, 2006, married borrowers could choose to consolidate federal student loans from both spouses or jointly consolidate the loans of either spouse.

The Department provides the following contact information if you have questions: If necessary, you can also try calling the general Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394. Both borrowers had to agree to be jointly and severally liable for repayment.

These include deferment, forbearance, cancellation, and affordable repayment rights.

(Click espanol to find a Spanish version of the on-line application). Be sure to meet the deadline for responding if you think there are problems with the consolidation or if you have decided you do not want to go forward.(see box below), You can consolidate during grace periods.This may lead to a lower interest rate on a Direct Consolidation loan, but only if you are consolidating variable rate loans. You will generally receive your first bills within 60 days after the new Direct Consolidation loan is made.The interest rate must not exceed 8.25% for consolidation loans prior to July 2013.However, the interest rate may be greater than 8.25% if your consolidation application was received on or after July 1, 2013.