A good education comes at a high cost these days. A college student loan is sometimes the only way someone may be able to afford a decent college education. There are different types of student loans. Many times, due to high interest and other unexpected situations that may be out of your control, it is hard to handle the monthly payments. If you are having problems making your student loan payments on time, you should look into a direct student loan consolidation program.This type of loan will take all of your student loans and consolidate them into one low interest loan. The consolidation will allow for lower payments at a fixed interest rate that is determined by the average of your loans being rounded to the closest.125 per cent.If you are having a hard time paying your student loans, this loan will give you some relief. This will become a new loan and your other loans will be paid off and reported as such on your credit report. Consolidation loans come in many configurations, each one with a different repayment plan. Consider your current situation, what you can afford, and learn about the different plans available before making a decision. This is a fresh start and you want to take advantage of the best possible alternative that fits your finances.A standard repayment plan will give you ten years to repay, with a fixed monthly payment, tailored to the amount that you owe.A graduated repayment plan option will have a period of 12 and 30 years to pay off the loan. As its name suggests, on this loan your monthly payment will increase every two years. This is something to take into consideration if you don’t think that your financial situation will change much during that time, as you will be faced with bigger payments eventually.An extended repayment plan spreads the loan over 30 years. Your monthly payments will be smaller however, at the end of the 30 years, you will end up paying more in interest. This is something to keep in mind. An income contingent repayment plan allows you to repay the debt in 25 years and it takes into consideration the amount owed, your annual gross income, and the size of your family. If you have a steady job, this may work for you.When you use a direct student loan consolidation, you are starting a new loan for a new period of time and at a new interest rate. If you are almost done paying your student loan off, this may not be an appropriate alternative for you. This alternative should be considered if you are having trouble making your student loan payments. Consider carefully your current situation, both the pros and cons, before deciding on this type of loan.