When do Students Have to Start Paying Back Loans?


Assuming tossing your graduation cap into the air, celebrating years of hard work and achievement. But as the cap arcs through the sky, a sobering realization sets in. It is time to start paying back those student loans. Typically, this impending responsibility of repaying student loans can be overwhelming. However, you can avoid it. How?

When do Students Have to Start Paying Back Loans?
When do Students Have to Start Paying Back Loans?

Pay them on time. Whether you are going to school or getting a job, understanding when the loan repayment clock starts ticking, is very important.

When do Students Have to Start Paying Back Loans?

Although, the timing for when students have to start paying back loans typically depends on the type of loan they have and their circumstances, repaying your loan is due in April if you’re a full-time student, or sooner if you drop out of school.

On the other hand, if you are enrolled in a “HE Short Course Loan,” you must begin loan repayment in April after your course completion or withdrawal.

Here are some general guidelines:

Federal student loans:

Most federal student loans have a grace period after graduation, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment before repayment begins. The grace period is typically six months, but it can vary depending on the type of federal loan.

For example, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have a six-month grace period, while PLUS loans for graduate or professional students do not have a grace period. During this grace period, you are not required to make payments, but interest may accrue on certain types of loans.

Private student loans:

Repayment terms for private student loans can vary significantly depending on the lender and the loan agreement terms.

Some private lenders may offer a grace period similar to federal loans, while others may require immediate repayment or have different grace period lengths.

Income-driven repayment plans:

For federal loans, borrowers who enroll in income-driven repayment plans may have different repayment schedules based on their income and family size.

Payments under these plans are typically lower and may be adjusted annually based on income and family size changes.

NOTE: Borrowers need to check the specific terms of their loans and understand when repayment begins.

What do you do if you are Unsure of When Your Loan Repayment Begins?

If you’re unsure about when your loan repayment begins, then you to check the terms of your loan agreement or contact your loan servicer for clarification. Additionally, exploring repayment options such as income driven repayment plans loan deferment or forbearance can help you manage your student loan payments effectively.


What happens if you miss a student loan payment?

Any payments you make late will be added to the end of the loan term and will be recorded as a forbearance. Yet, the loan total won’t decrease and can even increase, and interest will usually keep adding up for late payments.

What is the normal repayment term for most student loans?

10 Years

The Standard Repayment Plan for federal student loans is usually ten years. The Education Data Initiative reports that it takes an average student borrower 20 years to repay their student loans. However, this schedule may change depending on things like interest and the kind of repayment arrangement.

How are student loan payments calculated?

Like other loan installments, student loan payments are calculated using the specifics of your loan. You must first determine your daily interest rate, multiply it by your principal or outstanding balance, and then multiply the result by the number of days in your billing cycle to determine the interest on your student loans.

Can I Overpay my Student Loan?

Yes. Overpayment will decrease your loan balance and you will pay less interest over time, even though your monthly payments won’t decrease. Since the repayment of a student loan is exclusively dependent on your income, it makes absolutely no difference.


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