Whether you graduate, or drop from the University, or even register for less than half-time, you have six months before you start repaying your loan, and you should immediately submit an online Exit Counseling.
The six months are referred to as the grace period. During that period you don't have to pay any principal whether you had a subsidized or an unsubsidized loan. If you have an unsubsidized loan then you will be charged interest during the grace period, however, you can either pay the interest or it will be capitalized.
In any case, you are responsible for starting repayment on time to the Federal Government. The latter usually offers different repayment plans
. You will have to choose one. However, you can change plans throughout the life of your loan as long as the maximum repayment period under your new plan is longer than the length of time your loans have already been in repayment. Plans may be changed once a year. Contact your loan servicer
for more information.
What’s a Grace Period?
The grace period is a set period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you must begin repayment on your loan. The grace period gives you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan.
Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans have a six months grace period before payments are due.
PLUS loans have no grace period. They enter repayment once they are fully disbursed but may be eligible for a deferment. Contact your loan servicer for more information.
Can my Grace Period Change?
Circumstances that may change your grace period include the following:
- Active duty military—If you are called to active military duty for more than 30 days before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you return from active duty.
- Returning to school before the end of your loan’s grace period—If you reenroll in school at least half-time before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you stop attending school or drop below half-time enrollment (other conditions apply).
- Those who return to school after the grace period has ended do not receive an additional grace period.
- Loan consolidation—If you consolidate your loans during your grace period, you will give up the remainder of your grace period and begin repayment after your Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed (paid out). Your first bill will be due approximately two months after the Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed.
- If you are a graduate or professional student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half time and for an additional six months after your cease to be enrolled at least half time. If you have Federal Stafford Loans in addition to a Graduate Plus loan, you can ask for a six-month forbearance for your Graduate Plus loan so that your Federal Stafford Loan and Graduate Plus Loan enter repayment at the same time. Interest will accrue during this period, and make certain you check with your servicer regarding their capitalization policy.