Are you getting ready to stop going to college because of graduation or another reason? Do you know that 6 months after you stop going you will be asked to start paying on your student loans? This can be a difficult time because you are making many adjustments and if you consolidate federal student loans you can make it a bit easier. Here is what you need to know.First, the reason you want to consolidate federal student loans is simple. This will make your loans much more manageable. This will take all your student loans and you probably have quite a few and put them into one loan that will give you one payment that will be made each month. This will give you one interest rate and you will not have to worry about juggling many loans and payments each month.Second, when you consolidate federal student loans you do have to remember that you still want to have all your options. Before you pick a company to do this with you need to understand that not all of them have all the options that you might want. You need all the same options you already have and here are the options you must have with your new loan.Last, the options you must have are deferment for up to 2 years and forbearance in periods of 6 months at a time. Deferment is like hitting the pause button on your loans until you can get your act together and get back to paying them. Forbearance is more of something you would use in a financial crisis after you have been paying on your loans. These both protect your credit while you are figuring things out.