We promised in last week’s post that this week we would cover the details of President Obama’s new executive order to make it easier for students to repay their federal student loans. For your convenience, we’ll break this into three parts:

Loan consolidation: There used to be two programs for borrowing federal loans, but the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 abolished the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, leaving only the Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct) for new borrowers. However, a lot of us still have FFEL loans. (There are $400 billion in FFEL loans outstanding.) If you don’t know if your loans are FFEL or Federal Direct, go to the National Student Loan Data System to look them up.

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