You must repay the full amount of your student loans, even if you don’t finish college, cannot find a job after graduation, or you are not satisfied with the education or services you received at your school.

You don’t have to begin repaying most federal student loans until six months after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. However, PLUS loans enter repayment once your loan is fully paid out. This six months is called the grace period. It’s designed to give you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan.

Some loans accrue interest while you’re in school and during your grace period. Making interest payments during this time can save you a lot of money in the long run, so even though you are not required to make payments, it may be a good idea.

Your loan servicer should inform you of your repayment options before you enter repayment. However, your account will be placed on the 10-year Standard Repayment plan unless you request a different plan from your servicer. There are a variety of repayment plans available from which you can choose.

Use this repayment checklist to better understand the repayment process.

Remember – never pay for help with your student loans! Free help is offered by talking to your financial aid office, calling your loan servicer, or through studentaid.gov and studentloans.gov.