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How many times can you consolidate?

New Contributor

How many times can you consolidate?

I was wondering how many times one can consolidate federal student loans.


I can't seem to find a limit which begs the question: why can't someone default, consolidate and default, consolidate etc. over and over?

Message 1 of 9
Valued Member

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

A person probably wouldn't be able to default over and over once he/she has destroyed his/her credit.

Message 2 of 9
New Contributor

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

You don't need good credit to consolidate. I'm talking consolidation through the department of ed. Not refinancing.

Message 3 of 9
Valued Member

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

I found the following on their website:


  • If you want to consolidate a defaulted loan, you must either make satisfactory repayment arrangements on the loan with your current loan servicer before you consolidate, or you must agree to repay your new Direct Consolidation Loan under the
    • Income-Based Repayment Plan,
    • Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or
    • Income-Contingent Repayment Plan.
  • Generally, you cannot consolidate an existing consolidation loan again unless you include an additional Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan in the consolidation. However, under certain circumstances you may reconsolidate an existing FFEL Consolidation Loan without including any additional loans.


So there are certain circumstances where you could reconsolidate a consolidation loan, but I doubt a loan in default would be one of those circumstances.

Message 4 of 9
New Contributor

Re: How many times can you consolidate?


"Borrowers can consolidate a single federal consolidation loan if the loan is in default status or has been submitted to a guaranty agency for default aversion by the loan holder"


Message 5 of 9
New Contributor

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

anyone else have any thoughts?

Message 6 of 9
New Contributor

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

Message 7 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

What are the benefits to consolidating?


Message 8 of 9
Regular Contributor

Re: How many times can you consolidate?

I was told I couldn't consolidate more than once.  Consolidation is wrapping multiple single loans (i.e., junior year semester 1, jr yr semester 2, senior yr semester 1) into ONE loan.


Once you consolidate, there really is nothing left to consolidate.  So, in order to get several single loans out of default, borrows have the option to consolidate.  However, once you consolidate, there really isn't anything left to consolidate.  You can consolidate several UNSUBSIZED federal loans into one loan ... and you can consolidate SUBSIDIZED federal loans into one loan.  Hope that makes sense.


Once you consolidate, and go into default, you've exhausted your other options and are only able to do a loan rehab.  


be careful with consolidation (unsolicited advice, sorry):

Loan 1: $15k

Loan 2: $5k

Loan 3: $2k


If I were in the above hyopthetical situation, and in default, I would NOT choose consolidation over rehab.  Why?  I would want to rehab all three loans, pay off the $2k (i mean, lets be honest, most people have more than even $2k in CC debt) and then take a hard look at the $5k loan to see if it would be beneficial to me to pay it off.


However, I may choose consolidation:

Loan 1: $15k @9.25 APR

Loan 2: $10k@8.75 APR

COnolidate both to a lower APR 


The numbers are scary, and boy do they suck, but you will need to look at the total interest paid over the life of the loans as well as the consolidation interest.


Good luck.  I will say, 9 months is not a long time, and if you are committed to rehabing the loan during that period AS WELL AS moving forward, it really is the best option (my opinion)

My FICO Scores:
9/17: EQ - 542 / TU - 535 / EX - 506 // Mortgage: 553, 545, 486
10/ 17: EQ - 558 / TU - 563 / EX - 586 // Mortgage: 554, 568, 536
11/17: EQ - 630 / TU - 589 / EX - 614 // Mortgage: 606, 606, 572
12/17: EQ - 630 / TU - 624 / EX - 619 // Mortgage: 584, 612, 671

Journey Milestones: Completed Federal Student Loan Rehab in Sept 2017. Settled First Premier Bank CC in August 2017. Constant uphill battle with Navient incorrect reporting on seven (7!) private student loans. No TLs listed in delinquency. Obsessively keeping 2 CC UTI @ 7-9% monthly.

End Goal: Pre-Approval for FHA Spring/Summer 2018
Message 9 of 9