If you’ve taken out a federal student loan, there will come a time when you have to repay what you’ve borrowed. That time comes after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
But don’t worry – in most cases, you won’t have to begin making payments right away. You won’t have to start repaying your direct subsidized loan or direct unsubsidized loan for six months, and your federal Perkins loan begins repayment after nine months.
If you have a Plus loan, your loan enters repayment after final disbursement, but you may be able to postpone your payments.
Before your loan enters repayment, you’ll be contacted by a loan servicer who will help you come up with a repayment plan that works best for you. You may choose a fixed monthly payment, while some people opt for a graduated repayment plan, where payments start low and increase every two years.
If you think you may need extra time to repay your loan, you may be eligible for an extended repayment plan. Other plans match your repayment amounts with your level of income to help you better manage your debt.
The National Student Loan Data System can provide your loan servicer’s contact information.
Visit studentaid.gov for more information or to get an estimate of monthly payments.