Stages of a Student Loan
Remember those loans you took out to help pay for school? The six months of your grace period gave you the time you need to make sure you know how many Federal Stafford Loans you have, what your monthly payment amount will be, where to mail your payment, and when to start paying the loans back.
When it's time to make payments on your loans, you will work with one or more loan servicers. See if you have loans with servicers besides Nelnet by logging in to nslds.ed.gov. You'll need your PIN.
For loans serviced by Nelnet, you can view all of your loan details by logging in to Nelnet.com. We'll also send your monthly student loan billing statement around three weeks before your payment is due.
What to Do and Expect While You're In Grace
- Log in to Nelnet.com to update your contact information, see your due dates and payment amounts, and view other loan details.
- About halfway through grace, when you log in to Nelnet.com, the Payment Schedule for your student loans with Nelnet will be available in the left hand navigation under Payment Schedule.
- Explore your repayment plan options—if you don't choose a specific repayment plan during your grace period, your loans will be on the Standard Repayment Plan, but you can change your repayment plan to better fit your budget at any time.
- See if you have loans with other servicers at nslds.ed.gov. You'll need your PIN.
- Review your Nelnet student loan billing statement. It arrives about three weeks before your first payment is due. You can choose to receive paper or eStatements by logging in to your account at Nelnet.com. See a sample Nelnet statement.
Things to Keep in Mind While in Grace
Special Considerations for PLUS and GradPLUS Loans
For Federal GradPLUS Loans for graduate and professionals students, your payments are postponed until six months after you graduate or drop below half-time status as a student. This postponement is called a six-month deferment, not a grace period.
Federal PLUS Loans for parents don't have a grace period, and you'll begin making payments approximately 60 days after the school(s) receives all of the loan funds. However, you can postpone payments while you or your student is in school—but the loan will continue to accrue interest. If you haven't yet pursued this option, you can request this postponement (called a Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment) directly from us by calling 888.486.4722.
For both of these loan types, we'll send your monthly student loan billing statement around three weeks before your payment is due. When you start making payments, your loan is considered to be in repayment.
Please log in to Nelnet.com to view when payments are due for these and any other kind of federal student loans that are serviced by Nelnet.
Get Ahead on Payments
Some borrowers choose to start making payments before their grace period ends. You will save money if you make payments on your student loans while in grace—this will lower your overall balance and maybe even shorten your loan term.
Consolidation, Repayment Plans, and Options to Postpone Payments
If you have federal student loans through multiple lenders, consider consolidating them into one loan so that you only have one monthly payment rather than multiple.
Nelnet also offers various repayment plans that could potentially spread your payments over a longer period of time or lower them based on various criteria.
If you don't think you'll be able to start repaying your loans, consider deferment or forbearance.
If you've been called to active duty military service, you may qualify for a grace period of up to three years. If you return to school following the military service, you may qualify for additional grace time as well. If you're unsure whether you are in your grace period or repayment, contact us.