Can My Federal Student Loan Grace Period Change?

A student graduating from college and entering his loan grace period

Flickr user COD Newsroom

The standard federal student loan grace period lasts six-months after a student graduates from college. After that half-year, it’s time to start repaying the loan with interest. But that’s just the standard, what can cause a grace period to change?

Active Military Duty

No matter the military branch, if you’re called to active duty you will get a full six-month grace period when you get back from your service. (As long as you were called to action more than 30 days before your grace period would have expired).

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Returning to School

Thinking about grad school? Or did you drop out but re-enroll? If you start up classes again, before your grace period runs out, it can be put on hold until you graduate—or drop below half time status. Fortunately, when you’re grace period starts up again, you get the full six months.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Consolidating your federal student loans can be a great way to simplify and manage your payments, but there is a catch—if you consolidate during your grace period, you forfeit the delay and start paying once your direct consolidation loan is disbursed. Make sure you’re able to financially handle that payment before you decide to consolidate.

 

Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT EARNEST
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT LENDKEY
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT CREDIBLE
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.64% - 5.65%*
Fixed APR: 2.25% - 5.75%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT LAUREL ROAD
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.96% - 7.02%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT COMMONBOND
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.97%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 5.33%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.84%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.94%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ELFi

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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