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Finally, many of these agencies will have a website they hide behind. You will not see pictures of their representatives or find direct phone numbers you could use to contact them. They don't want to form a personal relationship with you. Their goal is to preserve their anonymity so that if you run into trouble or change you mind you can’t contact them.
What you could do yourself
As you have read if your goal is to consolidate your loans with a Direct Federal loan this is a fairly simple process you can do yourself. You can also restructure your debt yourself by changing to a different repayment program. To do this you will need to first go to the federal student loan database (https://www.nslds.ed.gov/) to get information about your loans such as their type, when the funds were disbursed, what you’ve paid so far and how much you still owe. You should save this information to your student debt portfolio for future reference.
With this information in hand you will need to next check out the federal loan repayment (https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans#repayment-plans) programs to determine which ones you would qualify for and would give you the best terms and lowest monthly payments. One the most popular of these is Pay As You Earn. You might have read about this program recently when Pres. Obama signed an executive order making about 1.4 million more people eligible. If you are one of these people you could see your monthly payments capped at 10% of your disposable income.
If you find you're ineligible for Pay As You Earn there is another program called Graduated Repayment. If you are currently a low earner but know that your income will increase in the years ahead this can be a very good option. It allows you to start with low payments that gradually increase every two years.
There is also a program called Income-based Repayment where your monthly payments would be capped at 15% of your disposable income – again if you would be eligible.
The last step
If you are able to find a better repayment program than what you currently have, the final step in the process is to contact your lender and discuss this with it. Your representative should be happy to help you through the process of changing repayment programs and might even suggest a better option than the one you chose.
Best of all, none of this will cost you a single cent let alone a big upfront payment or monthly fees.