Federal student loans must be consolidated through the Federal government's program.
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The most common types of federal loans are Direct loans, previous Stafford (formally GSL loans, and now called "Direct" loans) and Perkins.
Direct (and former Stafford) loans are either subsidized (need based) - where the government pays the interest while you are in school or in a period of deferment, or unsubsidized - where you are responsible for the interest from the moment the loan is granted.
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PLUS loans are made directly to parents for their dependent children's education, and HEAL loans for healthcare students are both federal and unsubsidized.
There are many other federal and private loans available that are specific to the student's area of study, and many states have their own student loan programs for education and health programs. If you have current federal loans, chances are they are not with the original lender, but have been sold on the secondary market.
Whether you choose a fixed or variable rate, it's always important to remember to pick a loan that is right for you and your particular financial situation.
Remember that interest rates could rise higher than the past highs.