U.S. Department of Education
Below are some frequently asked questions related to preparing and paying for college.
- How do I help my child prepare academically and/or financially for college?
- What happens if I default on my federal student loan?
- What is a loan consolidation and am I eligible for one?
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You can help your child make informed decisions about his or her college education.
There are many federal, state, and private educational savings programs. Educational IRA's, prepaid tuition plans, savings bonds and trust plans are just a few of the many ways to prepare for your child's educational expenses. In addition, legislation was recently passed for the 529 savings plan which is now available in all 50 states.
It is extremely important not to default on any loan, and defaulting on a federal student loan will impact your credit history. Eventually, your wages may be garnished as a result of defaulting on a student loan.
However, if you feel you may have to default, or if you are already in default, you should contact your lending company for counseling.
Consolidation loans allow you to combine different types of federal student loans to simplify repayment. Even if you have just one loan, you can also choose to consolidate it. Both the Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Direct Loan Programs offer consolidation loans.