When a student graduates, withdraws or stops attending on at least a half-time basis, a six-month grace period begins before the student must start repaying the Federal Direct Stafford Loans. At that time, Exit Loan Counseling is required to explain the student's debt and repayment options.
At the end of the grace period, the student must begin repaying the loans directly to their Direct Loan Servicer. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) uses several loan servicers to handle the billing and other services on loans for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Learn about loan servicers and how to determine who your loan servicer is here: studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/servicers The monthly payment amount will depend on the size of the debt and the Repayment Plan. (See Repaying Your Loan for an explanation of Repayment Plans and examples of monthly repayment amounts.) The student will receive repayment information from their Direct Loan Servicer and be notified of the date repayment begins. However, even if this information isn't received, the student is still responsible for beginning repayment at the end of the grace period.
To find out more about repayment options contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). If you would like the exact payment amount of your Direct Loans you can find it out by contacting your loan servicer.
Loan payments can sometimes be postponed (i.e. a deferment or forebearance may be granted) for specific reasons. A deferment allows the borrower to temporarily postpone payments on a loan. (See Repaying Your Loan for information on available deferments for Direct Stafford Loans.)