Get a Direct Loan
You must begin repaying your subsidized Direct Loan six months after you leave school or drop below half-time status. Repayment on an unsubsidized loan begins immediately upon disbursement but may be delayed until six months after you leave school or drop below half-time status. However, interest begins to accrue upon disbursement.
You have at least 5 years, but no more than 10 years, to repay your loans under the standard, graduated, or income-sensitive repayment options. If you have no outstanding balance on loans made before October 7, 1998, you may request an extended repayment plan if you owe more than $30,000 in federal student loans. Depending on how much you owe, you may take up to 25 years to repay your student loans under the extended repayment plan.
Use the Loan Payment Calculator to get an idea of what your monthly loan payment will be when you enter repayment.
Applications and More Information
First complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available from the U.S. Department of Education or online. A Master Promissory Note should also be completed and mailed or taken to your school for processing. You may electronically sign your MPN at www.studentloans.gov after you set up an account.