You don’t have to include all of your federal student loans in a Direct Consolidation Loan. However, if after you’ve obtained a Direct Consolidation Loan, you later decide that you would like to add a loan (or loans) to the Direct Consolidation Loan, you may do so—but only for a limited period of time.
You can add an eligible federal student loan (or loans) to an existing Direct Consolidation Loan within 180 days after the date the consolidation loan was made. Once the 180-day time frame expires, you’ll have to apply for a new Direct Consolidation Loan if you want to add more loans.
To add loans to an existing Direct Consolidation Loan within the 180-day time period, you’ll have to fill out a form. You can find the form at https://studentloans.gov. Hover over “Tools and Resources” and then click on “Direct Consolidation Loan Application (paper)” to find a form called “Direct Consolidation Loan Request to Add Loans.” (You can also get the relevant form, along with information about where to send it, from your loan servicer.)
Check Your Eligibility
You must enter certain information for each of the federal student loans that you want to add to your Direct Consolidation Loan on the form. To locate the information you will need to complete this part of the form, you can look at the last monthly billing statement you received for the applicable student loans, your quarterly interest statement or annual statement, your coupon book, or the website for the lender or servicer for the loan. You may also get information about your federal student loans by going to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at https://www.nslds.ed.gov.
Once your completed request form to add a loan (or loans) to your existing Direct Consolidation Loan is received, it will be processed. During this time, if you are currently required to make payments on your existing student loans, you must continue to do so. You must make the payments until you are notified that the loans that are the subject of your request have been successfully added to your Direct Consolidation Loan. (If you are currently having trouble making payments on your existing student loans, contact your loan holder or servicer to find out if you can postpone loan payments with a deferment or forbearance.)
By adding additional loans to your Direct Consolidation Loan, your repayment term may be extended, the interest rate might change, and/or the monthly payment amount could change.