(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.
Also, federal consolidation loans generally have lower interest rates.
Direct consolidation loans are now the only type of federal student consolidation loan.
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.
Borrowers in default may also consolidate in certain circumstances.
Consolidation was previously available to borrowers while they were still in school. Congress also eliminated joint consolidation for spouses, effective July 1, 2006.