Student Loan Repayment
Student loans are easy to qualify for, available at lower interest rates, and do not require repayment until you graduate, leave school, or drop to less than half-time status. While applying for student loans is a simple process, it's the repayment process that often leaves students confused and financially strained.
As you consider using student loans to finance your education, remember these factors about loan repayment:
1. When to Begin Repayment
When you leave school, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This "grace period" will be six months for a Federal (FFEL) or Direct Stafford Loan or nine months for Federal Perkins Loans. This time will allow you time to find gainful employment to help you make your loan payments as well as time to consolidate your loans, more on that later.
2. Repayment Options
Many loans offer a choice of repayment plans. Your monthly payment will depend on the size of your debt and the length of your repayment period. Repayment options include: level payment plans (pay a fixed amount each month), graduated payment plans (pay less each month during the first few years, then more until the loan is paid off), and income-sensitive payment plans (monthly payment is adjusted annually based on estimated income).
3. Managing Costs
The repayment plans discussed above can help you manage costs, but the best way to manage costs is to consolidate your loans. When you consolidate your loans, you may lock into a low interest rate and save significantly on your monthly payments. Your lender may also offer other cost-reducing programs including discounts for using automatic or electronic payments.
To help you understand the repayment process, the federal government requires that you participate in Exit Loan Counseling before leaving college. Our Financial Aid Advisors will help you identify the right plan for you.
If you have questions about student loans, call the Financial Aid call center at (858) 642-8500, or stop by a National University campus to speak with a Financial Aid Advisor.