The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it is extending the deadline to consolidate federal student loans to receive the full benefit of the current income-driven repayment adjustment. The deadline had been December 31, 2023 and is now April 30, 2024.
What does this mean for federal student loan holders? Martin Lynch of CEA Member Benefits partner Cambridge Credit Counseling says that if you have older loans that were issued through the Federal Family Education Loan program (usually abbreviated “FFELP” on your studentaid.gov dashboard) you must consolidate those loans to receive full retroactive credit for all payments made to date. There’s also a benefit for all loan holders who took out federal loans several years apart.
By consolidating before the April 30 deadline, your new consolidation loan will be credited with the payment count of the loan you included with the highest number of payments. (For example, if you consolidate two loans, one with 104 payments, and a second loan with just 55 payments, the resulting consolidation loan will be credited with 104 payments.) Lynch urges borrowers not to miss this opportunity.
If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively manage your loans and qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as a CEA member you can watch a free prerecorded webinar presented by Cambridge Credit Counseling. Find out more about the student loan assistance services Cambridge Credit offers CEA members.