My husband consolidated his federal student loans back in 1999, when the rates were 8-9%. We've investigated every possible alternative for getting this interest rate down and have found nothing. The Dept of Ed says you can only consolidate one time. No private banks will touch it because it is federal. I find it ironic and disheartening that you can refinance everything in life - house, car, private debt - but a student who naively consolidates at a high interest rate has no future options. Is it true that we have no options?