As you weigh the pros and cons, keep in mind that timing is critical.
With just a few exceptions, you get only one chance to consolidate with the government loan programs.
There are numerous problems that can arise–for example, if one of the divorced ex-spouses wants to apply for IBR.
The Department says that borrowers with joint consolidation loans may repay under the IBR/PAYE plan as long as both spouses qualify with partial financial hardships.
Consolidation was previously available to borrowers while they were still in school. Congress also eliminated joint consolidation for spouses, effective July 1, 2006.
Consolidation loan borrowers should not be charged origination fees.