Graduating from college or graduate school is a huge accomplishment for which you should be proud. Anyone who is fortunate enough to have done so can be sure they are a hard-working, responsible person. Most also feel lucky to be able to live in a country where they could have the opportunity to receive a higher education.There are a lucky few college attendees whose education is paid for via family money, hard-won personal savings, or full scholarships. However, the majority of people who attend college must pay for it with a combination of loans and working while in college.It is a privilege to have access to loans to fund the college experience, no matter how one gets the money. However, unlike in the case of family money, personal savings, or scholarship-financed college educations, taking out student loans requires years – or even decades – of repayment.Upon graduation, of course, most education loans have a short grace period. After that, the payback period begins. With a vengeance.What Is A Default Student Loan?Almost everyone who takes out one or more student loans has every intention of repaying them. However, reality does not always cooperate with our plans. Sometimes, a graduate may have trouble finding a job. Or, they may find a job but then lose it. In other cases, the graduate finds work, but the job does not pay enough to support all of their needs like housing, food, or supporting a family. In these cases, graduates find it hard to repay their loan. Some of them go into default.A defaulted loan means that the borrower has trouble paying back the lending company. If you go into default on a federal loan, the government has a number of options at their disposal to collect. They can use tactics like intercepting tax refunds due, garnishing a paycheck, and removing certain federal benefits.In short, defaulting is painful, and the government does have real power to make your life miserable for a long time until repayment is completed.One Solution: Consolidating Default Student LoansOne solution to that can help students who have defaulted or are considering defaulting on their loans is consolidating default student loans. Loan consolidation offers a number of advantages, such as simplifying repayment (by having only one lender to pay instead of two or more), lowering payments and securing a fixed interest rate that you can count on over the life of the loan.3 Steps To ConsolidatingStudent loan consolidation is easy. Here are 3 recommended steps:1. Figure Out Your Desired Repayment Period: When you consolidate your student loans, you have the opportunity to determine your desired repayment period. With consolidation loans, you can choose up to a 30-year repayment period in most cases. The good thing about a longer repayment period is the lower monthly payments. The only drawback is that the loan will cost you more in total interest payments over the life of the loan.2. Calculate Your New Payment Amount: Use an online loan calculator to figure out your new monthly payment amount. Just have ready the following information: your total outstanding loan balance, your projected interest rate for your new loan, and the desired repayment period (in months).3. Apply: Now that you know what you want, it is time to apply for a consolidation loan. For federal loans, you will want to apply through any of the federal government’s Department of Education websites. If you currently have private student loans, you will want to find a student loan consolidation company that meets your needs.Consolidating default student loans is a smart way to get yourself out of an uncomfortable situation that could only get worse as time passes. Follow these 3 steps to get on the path of loan consolidation and on to a better future.