They do offer consolidation loans and you have your choice of payment options – income based, standard, graduate. With income based you pay a percentage of your income (this assumes that your income will be increasing with time and your payments will increase accordingly). Graduate is pretty much the same, lower payments in the beginning with increasing payments with time. And standard is the same payment for the 10 years.
If you apply for a consolidation loan you can increase the term of you loan up to 30 years – but you should know that the interest rate that they charge you will be the average of your current interest rates plus a small percentage. Just remember that increasing the term of the loan from 10 to 30 years will greatly increase the total interest that you will pay over the life of the loan.
On their website the have a calculator so that you can run the numbers yourself. I would advise not to take out a home equity loan. You do not want use your house as collateral on anything that is not going to improve the value of your home otherwise you could end up without a house and still in debt. Student loan lenders are generally very understanding as long as you keep them informed of your financial situation. They will work something out that is reasonable for both you and them. My best advice to you is if you absolutely cannot make the payments the apply for the consolidation.
This takes a lot of discipline but use whatever money you have left over every month to pay down credit cards with high interest rates ( if you have any) they once they are paid off start putting the extra towards the student loans. Make sure the extra payment goes off the principle and is not just applied to the next payment which will include interest and will not reduce your principle as quickly. I hope that this is not to confusing I didn’t have much time to type this up. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anymore questions I have a lot of student loans and have looked at and considered all of the options.