Knowing expectations and your options can help you repay your loans to meet your financial goals.
If you have received a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete exit counseling each time you:
drop below half-time enrollment, graduate, or leave school.
Exit counseling takes 20-30 minutes and can help you: understand your loans, plan your repayment, prioritize your finances, and avoid default.
Repayment Amounts & Options
Track your federal student loans through the National Student Loan Data System. You will need your FAFSA PIN number to access this site. Compare repayment plans offered by the federal government:
|Standard||Up to 10 years||How it works||Calculator|
|Graduated||Up to 10 years||How it works||Calculator|
|Extended||Up to 25 years||How it works||Calculator|
|Income-Based||Up to 25 years||How it works||Calculator|
|Pay As You Earn||Up to 20 years||How it works||Calculator|
|Income-Contingent||Up to 25 years||How it works||Calculator|
|Income-Sensitive||Up to 10 years||How it works||Calculator|
If you’ve accepted private loans, you’ll need to contact your lender(s) to find out the total amount you’ve borrowed. A general student loan calculator can help you determine your monthly payments.
When you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have an adjustment period before payments are due on federal loans. A few facts about grace periods:
- Most Federal Direct Loans have 6-month grace periods.
- Perkins Loans have grace periods of either 6 or 9 months.
- Health professions loans have grace periods of 9-12 months.
- Interest may or may not accrue during the grace period.
- Repayment begins the day after a loan’s grace period end.
- First payments will be due within 60 days after the repayment periods begin.
- Each loan has only one grace period.
- If you return to school after the grace periods has expired, your loans qualify for deferment while you are enrolled but return to repayment after you leave school. There is no additional grace period.
Repay on Time
After you make a plan, create a portfolio. Repay your loans on time to avoid default. Doing so will help you establish good credit. Good credit is important when looking for a job, signing up for a cellphone plan, renting an apartment or buying insurance, a car or a house. Good credit also can lead to lower interest rates and provide more options for you in the future.