The FFELP or Federal Family Education Loan Plan is the best federal loan to look for while researching for student loan consolidation information. FFELP is a Federal government backed lending scheme and is an umbrella program that includes other popular lending programs like Stafford Loans, PLUS loans and Perkins Loans. Setup by the congress in 1965, it began its work in 1966 and since then has provided student loans of over half a trillion dollars to students and parents looking for finical help to pay their college or university education.Money for the Stafford Loan, PLUS Loans and other FFELP loans are derived from a network of large national credit unions, banks and other financial institutions who participate in the program. Lenders feel secure while lending to the government plan and borrowers get maximum available benefits and offers with a low interest rate while applying for the Federal loan program. These loan programs are created to provide maximum benefit to both parties and reduce the amount of risk and other factors while dealing with private lenders.The most popular loan program under the FFELP is the Stafford Loans which is provided in two different forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. In the earlier form government pays all the interest on the loan acquired while the student is in the college and for a further six month grace period while with the unsubsidized loan the borrower is responsible for repaying the total interest acquired on the loan.Another major plan under the FFELP is the PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) loan plan. These loans are offered to parents who have a requirement to pay for their children’s college and other fees. However since July 1, 2006, professional and graduate students can now apply for a PLUS loan as they can help their parents to repay the amount which they will be repaying eventually.All of these loan plans have strict rules of instruction and guidelines that has to be filed by the student or the parents while applying for the loan. The core information supplied with the application helps the loan officer determine the eligibility and requirement for the loan. Normally the decision is taken by the financial aid department of the individual college and they suggest the package after analyzing the students need for the loan and considering their repayment ability.Once the loan is approved it is normally disbursed directly to the student and parents twice per year in each semester and any other remaining part of the loan is sent to the student after deducting any fees inured in the process. The fees may range up to the 4% of total amount of loan. Some companies charge a 3% origination fee and 1% insurance fee before they assign the loan to the student.It is very important to keep the information in mind while applying for the loan as any misguided information can lead you into a deep crisis once you are out of the college and have a heavy interest total on your loan.