When Does Student Loan Repayment Begin?

Whether you have just recently graduated college or will be soon, there is a good chance that you want to know when you have to start repaying those loans.

“Too soon” is my first instinct when it comes to answering this question. The real answer is a little different though.

Student Loan Repayment Grace Period

Do you have a Stafford loan? This the the most common type of student loan. Normally when you get a subsidized or unsubsidized student loan, it is a Stafford loan.

With a Stafford loan, you get a 6-month grace period before you have to start repaying the college debt. This happens whether you are graduating or taking a break from school.

Basically, if you graduate or drop down to half-time student status, then you 6-month grace period countdown begins. Enroll in school as a full-time student again before that 6-month period ends and the loans go back into no payment required mode.

An important thing to remember with Stafford loans is that when they are not in repayment status, the Federal government pays the interest on the subsidized ones but for the unsubsidized one you get the interest added to your balance.

Got a Perkins loan?

The Perkins student loan is similar to the Stafford loan when it comes to repayment. The grace period for this one is a little better, clocking in at 9-months. So, when you drop to half-time status or graduate from college, you have to start repaying the Perkins loan in 9 months.

What about PLUS parent loans?

Well, these borrowers are not quite as lucky. In fact, repayment with PLUS loans starts a crazy 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan! However, the borrower can request to defer loan payments until six months after the student graduates or ceases to attend school on at least a half-time basis.

Military Student Loan Repayment

If you are enrolled in the U.S. Military, then you have an even more generous student loan repayment grace period. Of course, that is only if you are called to active duty for a period greater than 30 days during the allotted grace period.

This earns you a military deferment of up to 3 years during active duty service and you are still entitled to a full 6-month grace period after completion of the deferment.

You can find loads of student loan repayment info on the Federal Student Aid website.

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