3 Things to Do During Your Student Loan Grace Period

Student Loan Grace PeriodYour student loan grace period is a set amount of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, but before you must begin repayment on your loan. The grace period gives you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan. Not all federal student loans have a grace period. Note that for many loans, interest will accrue during your grace period.

Here are three things you can do during your grace period to prepare for repayment:

1. Get Organized

Start by tracking down all of your student loans. There is a website that allows you to view all your federal student loans in one place. You can log in to www.nslds.ed.gov using your Federal Student Aid PIN to view your loan balances, information about your loan servicer(s), and more.

Note: Don’t forget to check to see if you have private student loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a great Student Debt Repayment Assistant to help you learn about the repayment process, whether you have federal loans, private loans or both.

2. Contact Your Loan Servicer

loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loan. Your loan servicer can help you choose a repayment plan, understand loan consolidation, and complete other tasks related to your federal student loan, so it is important to maintain contact with your loan servicer. If your circumstances change at any time during your repayment period, your loan servicer will be able to help.

To find out who your loan servicer is, visit nslds.ed.gov. You may have more than one loan servicer, so it is important that you look at each loan individually.

3. Explore Your Repayment Plan Options

Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time. Flexible repayment options are one of the greatest benefits of federal student loans. There are options to tie your monthly payments to your income and even ways you can have your loans forgiven if you are a teacher or employed in certain public service jobs. Work with your loan servicer to determine which repayment plan is right for you.

 

3 Comments

  1. Whatever you do, always turn back in your excess checks from student loans. Only borrow the bare minimum that you need to need to pay for classes. Otherwise you may end up with 100K+ that you owe to your Student loans.

  2. My daughter graduated from Grad school May of 2012. She just started to work the last week of September. She is and I am interested in the repayment of her loans. For some reason, my daughter doesn’t want to consolidate her loans. She is really busy and works out of town. I am left to take care or initiate her repayment arrangements I want to look into forgiveness of some of her loans or all! :-) The problem is I have no idea where to start. I have called the 1-800-433 # and the undergrad school she attended. I am still clueless! I can’t get a “person” on the phone in the financial aid office where she attended her first 4 yrs. We are nervous about this repayment thing because she is making so much less than she should be making. But she is (and I am too) just thankful that she finally landed a job. Please tell me where or what is the first step!

    • Hi Debra. Congrats to your daughter on her new job! To answer your questions, there are pros and cons to loan consolidation. You may be able to simplify and lower your monthly payments, but you may also lose some borrower benefits or increase the length of your repayment period (make more payments and pay more in interest.) Therefore, it is important that you do your research because every situation is different. You noted that your daughter’s federal student loan debt is high relative to her income. For federal student loans, there is a repayment plan available that caps student loan payments at 15% of discretionary income. This repayment plan is intended to keep federal student loan payments low and help borrowers avoid default. For more information about this repayment plan, visit StudentAid.gov/IBR. Additionally, there are some forgiveness options if your daughter is working in careers such as public service or teaching. The best place to start is with your daughter’s loan servicer. They will be able to help her decide which options are best for her situation. To find out who her loan servicer is, have her log in to nslds.ed.gov. She may have more than one loan servicer, so it is important to click through each loan individually. From there, you can find contact information for the federal student loan servicers. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

      Federal Student Aid

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