For starter, direct student loan is the loan that is offered to you without involving third party and its consolidation program is much like normal student loan consolidation where you consolidate multiple student loans with multiple rates of interest into one consolidated student loan. The consolidator will pay off all your outstanding debts and begin a new financial plan with you.
When that is done, you can enjoy lower interest rate in the monthly payment and you will deal solely with this agency for the rest of your loan time period. You simply can't imagine the hassle involve when dealing with multiple businesses. Besides, you can also improve your credit score when you have combined your student education loans. And when you have a good score, you will have stronger negotiation power for other loans later on.
By the way, do you know that you can get some of the money back when you pay on time? There are a lot of consolidators who will pay you back (around 1%) if you have made on time payment within a certain period. The period is determined by the agency which is only logic that you choose the agency that offers the shortest period but using the highest pay back.
And for your information, there are five repayment plans you can choose from for direct student loan consolidation plus they are the Standard, Extended, Graduated, Income Contingent and Income Based Repayment Plan (which will begin on July 1, 2009).
As you might have guessed, each of these plans does come with their own benefits and drawbacks. So, before you decide on which loan type is best for a person, make sure that you have done your research before you sign about the document.
Lastly, you need to be aware that you are actually paying more for your loan due to the accumulated interest (even though you are enjoying low rate for low month-to-month payment) over long consolidation period. So, if you have no financial difficulty or you're close to settle your loans, please reconsider about consolidating your student financial loans.