|Are my payments due immediately?|
|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
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.
When Do My Payments Start?
For loans disbursed before July 1, 2008, repayment starts immediately or (by request) 6 months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment. For loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, repayment starts 6 months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment.
How Do I Know If I Have Grad PLUS 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 Grad PLUS loans.
- How much you owe on them.
- Who you should contact about repayment.
What's My Interest Rate?
All Direct Grad PLUS loans made from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, have an interest rate of 7.60%. Direct Grad PLUS loans made from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, have an interest rate of 7.0%; those from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, have an interest rate of 6.31%; and those made between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, have an interest rate of 6.84%.
For Direct Grad PLUS loans made between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, they have an interest rate of 7.21%. For Direct Grad PLUS loans made between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, the rate is 6.41%.
Be Money Smart
If you have multiple types of federal student loans and have some extra money to put toward them, Grad PLUS loans may be the best place to do so. Grad PLUS interest rates are higher than Stafford and Perkins loans. In fact, they currently have the highest interest rates of federal student loans (along with Parent PLUS loans).
You should consider this while you are still in school and in your grace period and opt to make interest-only payments during these times—you can sign up to do this or do it on your own when you can. If you can afford to pay off the accruing interest, you could really cut down on the amount of interest that capitalizes when you go into repayment, saving your a lot of money in the long run.