Following your last day of half-time (6 undergraduate credits or 3 graduate credits) or greater enrollment, your loan may enter a grace period before you begin repaying it. The length of the grace period depends on the type of loan:
- Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, FFEL Stafford, Grad PLUS and SPU Institutional loans: six months.
- Perkins and Nursing loans: nine months.
- Alternative (private) loans: Check with your lender or loan servicer.
If you return to half-time or greater enrollment before the grace period ends, the entire grace period will be available when you next drop to less than half-time status, withdraw, or graduate.
If you return to half-time or greater enrollment after the grace period ends, the loans on which the grace period has expired will be eligible for in-school deferment but will not receive another grace period prior to repayment. These loans immediately go into repayment, including any period when the borrower is enrolled less than half-time.
Prepare for repayment
Your grace period is an excellent time to create a realistic budget for your income and expenses, including all loan payments.
- Budget information and an interactive worksheet is available at CashCourse and may be available from your loan servicer(s) or your bank.
- Financial Awareness Counseling and Exit Counseling provided at StudentAid.gov also include budgeting and loan repayment information.
Review of the repayment plans offered for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, FFEL Stafford and PLUS loans and loan consolidation options may be helpful to achieve a total monthly loan payment amount that fits within your budget.
Your loan servicer(s) will send you information about your loan prior to repayment. Be sure to read all communications from your loan servicers carefully and contact them if you have any questions.
- Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, FFEL Stafford, PLUS, and alternative loan servicer(s) will send you information about the date your loan will enter repayment, the minimum payment amount, and other information. Online information may also be available from your loan servicer(s).
- Perkins, Nursing, and SPU Institutional loans exit counseling documents provide repayment information. You may also review repayment information online at Heartland ECSI.
- Whenever a change is necessary, update your contact information with each of your loan servicers to ensure that you receive all notifications.