Repayment of your student loans begins once you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time. However, most loans have a six or nine-month grace period from the point at which you become less than a half-time student to the point at which your first payment is due.
Both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loan borrowers are entitled to receive a grace period. A grace period is a transitional period that gives you time to get your finances together before your first loan payment is due. Your grace period begins the day you drop below half-time enrollment status and lasts six months.
During the grace period, the federal government continues to pay the interest on subsidized Federal Stafford loans. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loan borrowers, however, are responsible for payment of the interest from the first day funds are disbursed. You can pay the interest on a monthly or quarterly basis, or allow the interest to accrue and capitalize into the principal balance of your loan.
During repayment ,your payment must be at least $50 a month ($600 annually), and you have a maximum of ten years under standard repayment. The exact amount of your payment and number of months to repay depends on the total amount you borrowed.
Rights and Responsibilities
You have the right to prepay part or your entire loan obligation at any time without penalty. This can help reduce the total cost of your loan. You may have the right to have your loan canceled in part or in its entirety if you participate or participated in the National Service Trust Program, or if you become totally and permanently disabled or die.
The Federal Stafford Loan Forgiveness Demonstration program also allows for partial repayment of loans for teachers in certain schools teaching certain subjects, full-time nurses in certain types of hospitals or health care centers, or volunteers under the Peace Corps Act or ACTION Programs. This program is subject to federal funding.
You must notify your lender immediately if any of the following occur:
- You change your address
- You change your name
- You change your telephone number
- You change your Social Security Number
- You change employment
- Your employer's address changes
- You make any other changes that will affect your loan status
Other Federal Loans
If you received a student loan other than the Federal Stafford and/or Federal SLS loan (for example, a William D. Ford Federal Direct loan or a Federal Perkins loan), this information will be helpful, but may not answer all of your questions due to the differences between the programs. Detailed repayment information on student loans other than the Federal Stafford or Federal SLS loans may be obtained from your lender.