Things to Know About Repayment
First of all, a student loan must be repaid. You will most likely have a grace period after you leave school before you are required to begin making payments on your Stafford Loans. Your grace period will probably be six months, and you will then be required to begin making payments. Your first payment will be due within 60 days after your grace period ends. Your loan servicer will notify you of the date your first payment is due.
Unless otherwise advised by the school, loan servicers use the anticipated graduation date listed on your most recent loan application to put your loan into repayment. Schools periodically report student enrollment, but it is your responsibility to notify your loan servicer of any enrollment change. Don't wait for your loan servicer to contact you. If you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, call your loan servicer to arrange a repayment schedule.
You must make payments on your loan even if you don't receive a bill or repayment notice. Billing statements or coupon books are sent to you as a convenience, but you're obligated to make payments even if you don't receive any notice.
When it's time to begin making payments, your loan servicer will set up a standard repayment schedule. The standard repayment plan has a monthly payment of at least $50 and up to 10 years to repay the loan. Your payment amount will depend on how much you have borrowed. You will pay the lowest amount of interest over the life of the loan with the standard repayment plan.
If you have difficulty making the payments under a standard repayment plan, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. There are other repayment options available. These plans will result in more interest being paid over the life of the loan but may help if you're having trouble making your payments.
You'll receive details about your loan amount and interest rate from your school and loan servicer. If you have loans first disbursed before July 1, 2010, and your loans are sold to another lender, you'll be notified if the sale results in your making payments to a new lender/servicer. You'll be given the identity of the new lender/servicer holding your loan, the address to which you must make payments, and the telephone numbers of both the old and new lender/servicer.
You are generally obligated to repay your student loan. There are a few situations in which your loan may be fully or partially discharged and your repayment obligation fully or partially canceled. See Discharge/Cancellation for additional information.