Exit Counseling and Repayment on FFELP and Direct Loans. You will receive a notice regarding exit counseling when you graduate or attend school less than half-time. At this session you will be given information on your loans and when repayment begins.
- Generally you will receive the following information:
- A current description of your loans, including the average anticipated monthly payment;
- The amount of your total debt (principal and estimated interest), your current interest rate and the total interest charges on your loan;
- If you have a FFELP Loan, the name of the lender or agency that holds your loans, where to send your payment and where to write or call if you have questions;
- If you have a Direct Stafford Loan, the address and telephone number of the US Dept of Educations' Direct Loan Servicing Center;
- An explanation of the fees you might be charged during the repayment period, such as late charges and collection and litigation costs if your loan becomes delinquent or you default on your payment obligation;
- A reminder of available options for a loan consolidation and a reminder that you can prepay your loan without penalty at any time;
- Repayment options and advice about debt management;
- Notification that you must provide your expected permanent address and the name and address of your expected employer;
- Notification that you must also provide any correction to your school's records concerning you name, social security number, reference and driver's license number (if you have one).
When you graduate you will have six months (nine months with a Perkins Loan) before your first payment is due. This is called a grace period. This time can allow you to get financially settled, select your repayment plan and determine the amount of income you will need to put toward your student loan debt each month. If you are in active military duty for more than 30 days, the grace period will be delayed (for no more than three (3) years) during that time.
Repayment on all PLUS Loans generally begins 60 days after the disbursement of the loans proceeds. However, graduate and professional degree students may obtain a deferment while enrolled at least half-time but interest will continue to accrue during all periods of deferment on a PLUS Loan.
For PLUS loans made to parents that are first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or waiting until six months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
Your repayment period on FFELP and Direct Loans can vary from 10 to 25 years, depending on which repayment plan you choose. Perkins Loans have a 10 year repayment period. When the repayment period begins, you can pick a repayment plan that is best-suited to your financial situation. Some repayment plans allow you to make smaller payments early in the repayment period and larger payments later in the period. This graduated repayment plan may be ideal if you expect your income to increase steadily. You may also be able to have your payments tied to your income, so if your income goes down, your payments go down, and vice versa. If you don't choose a repayment plan, you will be placed under the standard repayment plan, which requires a fixed monthly payment for the entire repayment period. Keep in mind that you can change plans to suit your financial circumstances. The same types of repayment programs are generally available to FFELP and Direct Loan borrowers.