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" is six months for a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Loan.
The repayment period for all PLUS Loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement. However, a graduate student PLUS Loan borrower can defer repayment while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time, and, for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, for an additional six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower during the deferment.
Parent PLUS Loan borrowers whose loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, may choose to have repayment deferred while the student for whom the parent borrowed is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after that student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the parent during the deferment.
Make Your Payments on Time
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. Failure to do so could put you 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.
The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) provides information on your federal loans including loan types, disbursed amounts, outstanding principal and interest, and the total amount of all your loans. To access NSLDS, go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
If you are uncertain who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on www.nslds.ed.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Direct Loans have a fixed interest rate that differs depending on the loan type and other factors. Check with the Direct Loan Servicing Center for details and current interest rate information. To access information on your federal loans including interest rates, go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
Interest accrues on a daily basis on your loans. Factors such as the number of days between your last payment, the interest rate, and the amount of your loan balance determine the amount of interest that accrues each month.