Loan repayment on Federal Direct Loans typically begins 6 months after a student has graduated or dropped below half-time attendance. It is important you understand your responsibilities as a borrower and repayment options for your student loans to build a solid financial foundation.
Many different repayment options are available for your loans, with pros and cons for each type. These plans were designed to help make loan payments for students more manageable. You will need to work with your loan servicer to help determine which plan will benefit you the most in repaying your loans.
In certain circumstances, your loan may be canceled, forgiven, or discharged.
Some circumstances that may be eligible for loan cancellation:
Deferment and forbearance options are available if you are having difficulty making your loan payments. Choosing one of these options will help you avoid defaulting on your loans while alleviating the financial strain you may be experiencing during a time of hardship. Be sure to continue making payments while your deferment or forbearance request is being processed and be sure stay in contact with your servicer during this time.
Once your loan goes into repayment, if you do not make your scheduled loan payments, you run the risk of your loan going into default. If your loan has defaulted, a hold will be placed on your Gonzaga transcripts and diploma until the default has been cleared. You are also ineligible to receive any federal financial aid while you have a loan in a defaulted status.
Consolidation is a process where you take out a new loan to pay off some or all of your existing federal student loans. There are many pros and cons to consolidation and you should do your research before pursing consolidation to see if it is the right choice for you. Beware of companies offering to lower your interest rate or get your loan canceled; these companies usually charge for loan consolidation, which you can do for free on your own. More information regarding loan consolidation can be found on the following sites:
If you choose to consolidate, you can complete the processes at www.studentloans.gov. Once you have logged in, you will need to "Complete Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note".