After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This "grace period" will be:
- Six months for a federal Stafford Loan (i.e. Direct Loan Programs or Federal Family Education Loan Program)
- Nine months for federal Perkins Loans
You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose.
Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information about the various repayment plans and to calculate your estimated repayment amount under each of the different plans.
Making your payments
Your loan servicer will provide information about repayment and will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. It is very important that you make your full loan payment on time either monthly or according to your repayment schedule.
If you do not pay on time, you could end up in default, which has serious consequences. Student loans are real loans—just as real as car loans or mortgages. You have to pay back your student loans.
Access your loan information
The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System provides information on your federal loans including loan types, disbursed amounts, outstanding principal and interest, and the total amount of all your loans.
If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on the NSLDS or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID or TTY 1-800-730-8913.
If you have specific questions about repaying FFEL, Direct or Perkins Loans, contact your loan servicer. In the case of Perkins Loans, your servicer will be the school that made the loan.
For more information on repayment of student loans, please refer to the Federal Student Aid website.