This means, for example, that a Perkins Loan on its own cannot be consolidated into a Direct Loan.
You may consolidate with Direct Loans during grace periods, once you have entered repayment, or during periods of deferment or forbearance.
Although all of these different loans may be consolidated, you must have at least one outstanding FFEL or Direct Loan to obtain a Direct Consolidation Loan.
As you weigh the pros and cons, keep in mind that timing is critical.
With just a few exceptions, you get only one chance to consolidate with the government loan programs.
You can consolidate all, just some, or even just one of your student loans.
Consolidating federal student loans may be a good strategy to lower monthly payments or to get out of default, but it is not always a good idea.