Understanding student loan grace period
Grace Period is the period after you graduate from college till the time you need to start repaying the loan. It is provided for both Federal and Private student loans and is usually for a period of 6 months. But there are loans which have a grace period longer than that and some of the loans have none.
You should be aware that for some loans, the interest accrues during this period making the amount to be paid back more expensive. You can only use it once, which means that if a borrower has taken multiple loans and have used it on one loan, then it won’t be applicable to the other loans.
The grace period is provided to the borrowers to give them sufficient time to find a job and earn income before repayment of loan starts.
Table of Contents
Loans with a grace period
The following table shows the various student loans which have grace periods. It also shows the length of the grace period and the interest, if it accrues or not.
|Name||Grace Period allowed||
Does interest accrue?
|Direct Subsidized Loans||6 months||No|
|PLUS Loans||No grace period||--|
|Private Student Loans||0-9 months
(depending upon the lender)
To-do list during the grace period
It is understandable for you to sit back and relax after graduating, after all the stress and the heavy load. But you should also be responsible and think about the repayment of the loan and plan accordingly during the grace period. Moreover, some loans have interest accruing during this period, so you have to take certain measures in order to reduce this burden and try to repay your loans fast.
Be prepared - Start preparing yourself by consulting with the loan servicers to know when will the grace period end and the repayment period starts. It is important for you to know all this and start preparing yourself in order to be able to repay the loans in a smooth way and avoid difficulties.
Start an emergency fund - You can put aside some money as an emergency fund which can be of help during unfortunate or unforeseen events as it’ll be difficult to save money later on when repayment period starts.
Find a job - It is important for you to find a job and start earning income before the repayment of the loan starts so as to be prepared for timely payments.
Make payments before the end of the grace period - This can be done if you have enough funds for monthly repayments as it’ll reduce the amount of interest accruing. This will help you to reduce the amount of the loan to be repaid in the long run.
Pay off the interest before it capitalizes - If you don’t have enough funds to pay off the monthly amounts, you can just pay for the amount of interest that’ll accrue during the grace period so as to reduce the burden.
Set up Autopay - Autopay or Automatic Pay is a tool which is used to automatically make payments for the loan. Using this tool also allows the borrowers to avail discount on the interest up to 25% which can go up to 50% for private loans.
Make a repayment plan - It is important for you to explore and understand the various repayment plans available for you. You can take the help of your loan servicers and choose the one, which according to you, will give the maximum benefit.
Loan consolidation - The student loan consolidation plans offered by the Federal Government is applicable for borrowers with more than one federal loan and more than one loan servicer. It can give more options of repayment and reduce the interest rate, but can also remove any progress of repayment made on the other loans.
How to extend a student loan grace period?
In nearly all cases, borrowers are able to extend their grace period for months, or years even. It can be done by keeping in mind two terms-
(i) Deferment- It is the act of postponing the repayment of a loan. Students can qualify for a deferment if they go back to school, go for active military duty, are unemployed or joins a Peace Corps Service.
(ii) Forbearance- It is an act of refraining from repayment of a loan. Students qualifying for forbearance are those who are pursuing their medical internship or residency programs, certain teaching services and whose monthly payments are 20% more than the monthly incomes.
If you are eligible for deferment, there are certain loans in which you are responsible for payment of interest, and others which you are not.
Loans which you are responsible for making interest payments -
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Direct PLUS loans
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) PLUS Loans
The unsubsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans
The unsubsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation loans
Loans which you aren’t responsible for making interest payments -
Direct Subsidized Loans
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Federal Perkins Loans
The subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans
The subsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans
It is not a good idea for you to extend your grace period, especially for those loans where interest accrues, it just becomes more expensive to pay in the later date. Also, there are so many repayment plans available which are better and costs less.
Going through the repayment of student loans can be a very difficult situation. There are times when you feel like you can’t afford to pay back the loan. But there are a lot of steps which you can take in order for you to get through this painful situation with ease. The above measures are some which will help you be well prepared to face the situation.
Do you only get one grace period for student loans?
One of the most common misconceptions in the world of student loan repayment may be that repayment does not have to start until six months after graduation. Federal student loans have a grace period, but that period of time often doesn't work the way consumers think.
Does FedLoan have a grace period?
You won't have to make student loan payments right away after graduation. Federal student loans usually have a grace period of 6 months after graduation. This means you don't owe any payments during that time. After 6 months, your payments become due.
What happens if you miss your first student loan payment?
If you have federal student loans, your payment status will immediately change from current to delinquent. But late fees are often a percentage of the missed payment amount. If your student loan payment is at least 30 days late, your lender can report the delinquency to the credit bureaus.
What happens to student loans if you withdraw?
If a student withdraws after the 60% point of the term, there are no unearned funds. The calculation of the Return of Title IV aid only applies to students who withdraw prior to the 60% point of the term. Withdrawal after this point-in-time will not result in any adjustments to your financial aid for the quarter.