Consolidating debt in

Under the Direct Loan Consolidation Program, you can consolidate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs), Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs), PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEALs), and just about any other type of federal student loan.Loans that are not eligible for consolidation include state or private loans that are not federally guaranteed.By Susan Gulliford/Value Penguin The average credit card debt for an American household is ,700,and it rises to more than ,000 for households that do not pay off their balances each month.Clearly, while that level of debt is challenging for many households, it can be tamed and managed, along with other expenses and obligations.Debt is a symptom." Her assessment is that people end up with onerous credit card debt because, "the systems they have for managing money are failing."After you pay off your credit cards, you need to take steps to avoid ending up with large debts again.Christine Luken of 7 Pillars advises people to avoid a recurring problem by, in part, limiting the number of cards they carry.

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Matthew Zimmelman notes that, "it's very hard to pay down a large amount of debt when the program you are paying each month takes large fees off the top, leaving little for the creditors." He also mentions that these programs have a huge legal disadvantage.

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 good news is that the Department explains on its web site that if any loan you want to consolidate is still in the grace period, you can delay entering repayment on your new Direct Consolidation Loan until closer to your grace period end date.

You will lose your rights under the federal loan programs once you choose to consolidate with a private lender.

Direct consolidation loans are now the only type of federal student consolidation loan.

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