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Repaying Your Student Loan

Find important information and tips for repaying your student loan.

Repaying your federal student loan(s) is an important obligation. When it’s time to start making student loan payments you should evaluate your financial situation and options. Your future financial health depends on understanding your options, the hazards of default, and how to resolve federal student loan disputes.

Entering Repayment

For federal direct loans, once you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or withdraw from school, your federal student loan(s) goes into a six-month grace period before you are required to start making regular payments.

If you have a Parent PLUS loan, you will be expected to begin making payments after the loan is fully disbursed.

Graduate PLUS loans are automatically deferred while you’re enrolled in school at least half time, and for an additional six months after you graduate, withdraw from school, or drop below half-time enrollment. You don’t have to start making payments until after the deferment period ends.

Loan Servicer

A loan servicer is a company assigned by the Department of Education to handle the billing and other services on your federal student loan. Identify your loan servicer and remember to keep your contact information up to date so your loan servicer can help you stay on track with repaying your loans. If your circumstances change at any time during your repayment period, you should contact your loan servicer for guidance.

Repayment Options

When your loan(s) enters repayment, your servicer will automatically place you on the Standard Repayment Plan. You can request a different repayment plan at any time and compare repayment plans that meet your financial needs by using the Loan Simulator.

For helpful information on how to prepare to enter repayment, visit

Student Loan Forgiveness

In some situations, federal student loan(s) may be discharged, canceled, or forgiven. Review the qualifications and get answers to frequently asked questions.   

5 Easy Steps to Complete PSLF

Image Still for Video: Complete Your PSLF Form in 5 Easy Steps​

Resolving Student Loan Disputes

Do you and your loan servicer disagree about the balance or status of your loan(s)? The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education is designated to help with concerns in an impartial manner to develop a fair solution. To initiate a dispute, contact your loan(s) servicer to discuss your concern using the FSA helpful tips.  If the desired outcome is not achieved, submit a complaint electronically using your FSA ID and password.  

Delinquency and Default

If you are having trouble making timely payments, contact your loan servicer to discuss options to prevent delinquency and default. If you are delinquent on your student loan(s) payment for 90 days or more, your loan servicer will report the delinquency to the three major national credit bureaus. After 270 days of delinquency, your loan will go into default. Avoiding default is possible, but you must take the proper actions with your loan servicer.

Avoid Student Loan Scams

You never have to pay to receive help with your federal student loan services. If you are contacted by a company asking you to pay “enrollment,” “subscription,” or “maintenance” fees to enroll you in a federal repayment plan or forgiveness program, it is likely a scam.

Protect Yourself from Scams 

Image Still for Video: Play It Safe: Protect Yourself From Student Loan Scams

Contact Us

Our helpful admissions advisors can help you choose an academic program to fit your career goals, estimate your transfer credits, and develop a plan for your education costs that fits your budget. If you’re a current UMGC student, please visit the Help Center.

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