Loan Repayment

When it comes to repaying your federal student loan, there’s a lot to consider. Understanding the details of repayment can save you time and money.

About Loan Repayment

  • When to start making payments
  • How to make your payments
  • Repayment plan options
  • What to do if you have trouble making payments

Students generally have a six-month grace period after they graduate — or stop attending at least half time  before repayment begins. Try using a repayment calculator such as the Federal Student Aid Repayment Estimator to estimate your payment amounts.

Review all of the available payment plans to find the one that best fits your needs.

Learn more about loan repayment

Track Your Federal Loans

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid. You can track your borrowing history for federal loans and get information about the loan servicer and status of your loans. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program and other Department of Education programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of federal loans and grants.

Exit Counseling

If you are graduating, leaving UMKC or dropping below half-time enrollment and have borrowed a student loan, you are required to complete Exit Counseling, which will provide you information about your payment options and what to expect when you enter repayment. Depending on the type of loans you borrowed, you may be required to complete different Exit Counseling processes.

  • Direct Loan borrowers can complete this process by visiting Federal Student Aid
  • Perkins Loan and Institutional Loan borrowers will receive an email with instructions for completing counseling from Heartland ECSI

Postpone Payment

You may want to postpone repaying your loan for various reasons. Find your loan servicer at NSLDS and contact them to determine your options for postponing repayment.

  • Deferment
    • Temporarily postpone the payment of your loan
    • Not automatic — you must apply and be approved by your lender
    • Subsidized Direct Loans — principal payments are postponed, and interest is paid by the federal government
    • Unsubsidized Direct Loans — you are responsible for interest that accrues
    • Contact your loan holder for alternate deferment options and to obtain forms
    • Reasons for deferment
      • Return to school for at least half-time attendance (attendance will be verified by the lender and a Certificate of Enrollment may be required)
      • Loss of job or inability to find a job
      • Economic hardship
      • On active duty during war, national emergency or military operation
  • Forbearance
    • Temporary postponement or reduction in your monthly payment
    • Possible option for when deferment is denied
    • May extend amount of time to repay your loan
    • Interest accrues during the period, increasing loan balance
    • Different types of forbearance available, depending on your situation
    • Must be approved by your lender
    • Can be applied to both past delinquency and future payments
    • Applied in up to 12-month increments
    • Multiple periods can be used, and maximums are specific to your lender
    • Can be applied verbally or submitted in writing, depending on the delinquency of your loan

Direct Consolidation Loan

  • Simplifies the repayment process of multiple loans by combining all your federal student loans into one loan with one monthly payment
  • Contact your loan servicers to find out about consolidation at NSLDS