If you’re wondering when your student loan payments will restart after graduation, the answer depends on a few factors. Keep reading to learn more about the timing of student loan repayment.
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The six-month grace period
Right after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a six-month “grace period” before you have to begin repaying your student loan. Your grace period gives you time to get financially settled and to select a repayment plan. For most loans, the grace period is six months. However, if you’re a Direct Subsidized Loan or Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan borrower, your grace period doesn’t begin until your first Direct Unsubsidized Loan or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan is first disbursed. This means that if you also have a Direct PLUS Loan or PLUS Loan from the FFEL Program, your grace period for all of your loans will start when the first disbursement is made for the Direct PLUS Loan or PLUS Loan from the FFEL Program.
The timing of your first student loan payment depends on the type of loan you have and whether you sign up for automatic payments.
Direct Loans and FFEL Program Loans: If you don’t sign up for automatic payments, your first student loan payment will be due 60 days after your grace period ends. If you do sign up for automatic payments, your loan servicer may give you a choice of repayment plan options and allow you to switch repayment plans if necessary.
Perkins Loans: Your first student loan payment is due nine months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
What to do if you can’t make your payments
If you can’t make your payments, there are a few things you can do to ease the financial burden. You can contact your loan servicer to discuss your options. You may be able to temporarily postpone or lower your payments. You may also be eligible for loan forgiveness if you work in certain public service jobs.
Loan consolidation is a great way to save money on interest, lower your monthly payments, or both. If you have multiple student loans, you can consolidate them into one loan with a single monthly payment. You can also extend your repayment term, which may lower your monthly payments. But when do student loan payments restart after graduation?
If you consolidates your loans while you’re still in school, your grace period will be reset. So if you consolidate your loans and then graduate, your first loan payment will be due immediately after graduation. However, if you consolidate your loans after you’ve already graduated, your grace period will not be reset and you’ll have the same number of months before your first payment is due.
So when do student loan payments restart after graduation? If you consolidate your loans while you’re still in school, they will restart immediately after graduation. If you consolidate them after graduation, they will restart according to the original repayment schedule.
Refinancing your student loans
Refinancing your student loans can save you money by lowering your interest rate. If you have private student loans, you may be able to consolidate them into a single loan with a lower interest rate. If you have federal student loans, you can’t consolidate them, but you may be able to refinance them into a single loan with a lower interest rate.