Federal Direct Loan Repayment Information
Borrower Grace Periods
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" will be Six months
for a Federal Stafford Loan (Direct Loan ProgramSM ).
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 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.
Lender Notification to Borrower
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 (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 (see Default for details).
Get Your Loan Information
The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data SystemSM (NSLDSSM) 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 http://www.nslds.ed.gov/
If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on http://www.nslds.ed.gov/
or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY 1-800-730-8913). To see a list of Federal Student Aid servicers for the Direct Loan Program and for FFEL Program Loans purchased by the U.S. Department of Education, go to the Loan Servicer page
You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. Go to Repayment Plans and Calculators
for more information about the various repayment plans and to calculate your estimated repayment amount under each of the different plans.
If you have specific questions about repaying your Federal Direct Loan(s), contact your loan servicer. If you don't know who your loan servicer is, go to http://www.nslds.ed.gov/
to find out.
Interest Rate Information:
To access information on your federal loans interest rates, go to http://www.nslds.ed.gov/
For additional details on Direct Loan and FFEL interest rates effective July 1, 2010, click here.Why does the amount of interest I pay vary from month to month?
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.
You can calculate the monthly interest on your loan by using the Simple Daily Interest Formula
In some cases, you might be able to reduce your interest rate if you sign up for electronic debiting. To learn more, go to the Electronic Payment page on this website
Trouble Making Payments
If you're having trouble making payments on your loans, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. Your servicer will work with you to determine the best option for you.
- Changing repayment plans.
- Requesting a deferment—If you meet certain requirements, a deferment allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan.
- 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 forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments.
If you stop making payments and don't get a deferment or forbearance, your loan could go into default (see Default information), which has serious consequences.