What’s a student loan grace period?
The grace period is a set period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you must begin repayment on your loan. This 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 most loans, interest will accrue during your grace period. Goodbye loans can help you find out everything you need to know about this period, and how to take advantage of it. Similar to deferment and forgiveness, it's critical that you understand the resources available to you when starting a student loan repayment period.
Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans have a six-month grace period before payments are due.
PLUS loans have no grace period. They enter repayment once they are fully disbursed but may be eligible for a deferment. Contact your loan servicer for more information.
If you received a Federal Perkins Loan, check with the school where you received your loan.
Can my grace period change?
Circumstances that may change your grace periods include the following:
- Active duty military—If you are called to active military duty for more than 30 days before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month period when you return from active duty.
- Returning to school before the end —If you reenroll in school at least half-time before the end of your grace period, you will receive the full six-month grace period when you stop attending school or drop below half-time enrollment (other conditions apply).
- Loan consolidation—If you consolidate your loans during your grace period, you will give up the remainder of your time and begin repayment after your Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed (paid out). Your first bill will be due approximately two months after the Direct Consolidation Loan is disbursed.