What you need to know about repaying federal student loans
You will receive information about repayment, and your loan provider will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. We cannot 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 car loans or mortgages. You have to pay back your student loans. Find out about your obligations in this section so you can stay on top of your loans.
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time (6.0 credit hours per semester or 3.0* credit hours per term enrollment for undergraduates; 4.5 credit hours per semester or 2.5* credit hours per term enrollment for graduates), you have a period of time, known as a "grace period," before you have to begin repayment. This grace period will be six months.
Note: During your loan period, if you realize you no longer need or want a loan you have received, you may contact our office and request it to be cancelled.
*Eligibility requirements to receive and defer a loan are different during a term. The university reports enrollment (used when determining loan deferments) according to academic standards and not financial aid eligibility requirements, which requires less hours to be considered half time.
PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans
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 (as well as a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student) 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.
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 borrower.
Get Your Federal Loan Information
The U.S. Department of Education 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. Visit www.nslds.ed.gov.
Having Trouble Making Payments?
- Changing repayment plans.
- Requesting a deferment--If you meet certain requirements, a deferment allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan. To qualify for a deferment you may either enroll half-time in school, seeking full-time employment without yet having secured it, you may be in economic hardship, or you may request an income-based deferment. However, once you no longer meet one of these conditions, you immediately return to repaying your loan. A graduate student , who is a Direct PLUS Loan borrower whose PLUS Loan(s) was/were disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, should automatically be granted an in school deferment. If this does not happen, contact Direct Loan Service Center. The benefits of a deferment are that the government will temporarily suspend your requirement to make monthly loan payments and the government will resume paying the interest on your Subsidized Stafford Loans.
- Requesting a forbearance--If you don't meet the eligibility requirements for a deferment but are temporarily unable to make your loan payments, then (in limited circumstances) a forebearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments, which will preserve your credit history. Full-time missionaries may be eligible for either forbearance or an income based repayment plan, but missionaries will need to visit the following website for more information. (If you are a missionary and would like to know how to defer your BYU Scholarship(s), please click here to learn more). However, during forbearance all Stafford Loans are unsubsidized and continue to grow monthly interest. Therefore, to avoid significant amounts of interest you will be responsible to repay, it is wise to use the forbearance only in times of real need.
If you stop making payments and don't get a deferment or forbearance, your loan could go into default, which has serious consequences.