Stages of a Student Loan
Stages of a Student Loan
From the time you take out a student loan to pay for education costs to the time you pay it back, the loan will go through multiple stages, each requiring different action items from you. Depending on your loan type, there may be times when no payment is due and other times when you must take specific actions to provide information to your loan servicer (Nelnet) or to make payments toward your loan.
Those who have Federal Stafford Loans typically go through three stages: in school (no payments due; no action required), in grace (no payment due, but preparing to make payments), and in repayment (actively paying back their loan).
Borrowers of other student loan types such as parent PLUS loans or GradPLUS loans for graduate and professional students have slightly different experiences. In any case, your school will work directly with Nelnet (and your other loan servicers, if applicable) to ensure we know which stage you are in. Your servicer will communicate with you based on your needs at that time. See below for an overview of the stages of the student loan life cycle.
Federal Stafford Loan Stages
Federal GradPLUS Loans (graduate/professional students)
Don't worry about making payments on this student loan while you're in school—instead, focus on your studies. Of course, you're always welcome to ask questions and learn more—just log in at Nelnet.com to see the details of your existing student loan with Nelnet or to chat with us.
Your payments for this loan are postponed until six months after you graduate or drop below half-time status as a student. For your GradPLUS loan, this postponement is called a six-month deferment. If you do wish to make payments on this or any of your student loans while you are still in school, especially if you'd like to save interest in the long run, you can—it's your choice.
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.
Federal PLUS Loans (parents)
PLUS loans are typically split into groups of funds and sent to the school (disbursed) to cover costs throughout the academic year (for example, half during a fall semester and half during spring semester). At the earliest, your first payment on this loan would be due 60 days after the school receives the last set of funds (in the example above, 60 days after the spring funds were sent to the school). You can always verify your payment due date and other loan details by logging in at Nelnet.com.
Although Federal PLUS Loans don't have a grace period, 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.
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.