Repaying Your Student Loans

Repayment Process

Grace Period

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you may have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This “grace period” will be

  • Six months for a Federal (FFEL) or Direct Stafford Loan
  • Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans

If you have an un-subsidized student loan, interest accrues even while you are attending school, and you may have payments due, even during your grace period.

If you can make payments during your grace period, it's a good idea. They will usually be interest free, and you will have less to repay after graduation.

(If you’re a parent reading this and you have a FFEL or Direct PLUS Loan, you don’t have a grace period—repayment generally must begin within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.)

Exit Counseling

You’ll receive information about repayment, deferments and cancellations.Your loan provider will notify you of the date loan-repayment begins and contact information. Remember, you are still responsible, even if you don't hear from your lender.

To complete your exit interview, please visit Exit Interview Counseling for Student Loans.

Paying Back Your Loan

You have a choice of repayment plans if you received a FFEL or a Direct Loan.Your monthly payment will depend on the size of your debt and the length of your repayment period. The links below may provide available repayment options, including examples of monthly payments for different loan amounts, and other topics you need to consider when managing your loans. We can't emphasize enough the importance of making your full loan payment on time either monthly ( which is usually when you'll pay ) or according to your repayment schedule. If you don't, you could end up in default, which has serious consequences. Student loans are real loans-just as real as real as car loans or mortgages. You have to pay back your student loans.

Get Your Loan Information

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) allows you to access information on loan and/or federal grant amounts, your loan status (including outstanding balances), and disbursements made. Go to

More Resources

Information on this Web site is subject to changes without notice. Every effort is made to ensure that information is current and accurate. The statements found on this Web site are for informational purposes only.