Are payments due immediately after I finish or leave school?
Is it OK to make payments ahead of schedule?
Can I shrink my monthly payments?
Can I postpone repayment with a deferment?
Will the government pay the interest during the deferment?
Can I find these records online?
Dig Into The Details
When Do My Payments Start?
Six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment. If you go back to school at least half time after using your grace period, your payments will restart as soon as you drop below half-time enrollment again.
Who Do I Pay?
Most likely, your servicer—a company hired by your lender to collect your payments. Contact them as well if you need to change your repayment schedule or postpone repayment.
How Do I Know If I Have Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?
Check the U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) for info on these federal student loans. NSLDS will tell you:
- If you have unsubsidized Stafford loans.
- How much you owe on them.
- Who you should contact about repayment.
What Payment Options Do I Have?
Like other federal loans, unsubsidized Stafford loans may be eligible for a number of payment plans that could decrease the amount you owe each month. You also may be able to temporarily pause your payments with a deferment or forbearance.
Be Money Smart
Unlike subsidized loans, you're always responsible for the interest on unsubsidized Stafford loans. The good news is that you have options. You can pay that interest monthly or quarterly while you're in school or let your lender add it to your balance. Pay the interest while you're in school, if you can—it will save you a lot in the long run. For example:
- Paying $31,000 at the current 4.45% interest rate will cost you about $38,464 over 10 years.
- But, if you cut that to $29,000, your total drops to about $35,982.
- By reducing your debt at graduation to $29,000, you'll save $2,482 during repayment. That's an extra $482!
- And here's the best part: to trim your loans by that $2,000, you'd need to up your monthly payments by only $42. Per week, that's roughly $10—or about the cost of a couple trips to the coffee shop.
Learn more about the best way to repay your loans with the Salt® Repayment Navigator.