Pros and Cons of Repaying Student Loans While in College

Should you repay your student loans while you're still in college?

Flickr user margarita lopez

By default, students have to start making their loan payments six months after they graduate. But, if you can afford it, you have the option to repay your student loans while you are still in school.

This may or may not be the right option for everyone. Understanding the pros and cons of making early payments will help you make a decision that is right for you.

Pros of Repaying in School

Pay Less Overall: The biggest advantage of repaying student loans while you are still in school is obvious—the earlier you pay off your student loans, the lower the accrued interest amount, which means you will save a substantial amount just on the interest rates itself. Don’t forget, your loan accrues interest even while you’re still in school. If you repay early, it means you’re at least paying off any interest you accrued during your time in college.

Debt-to-Income Ratio: Early payments also help to lower your debt-to-income ratio, which increases your likelihood of getting approved for a mortgage or any other loan after you graduate.

Of course, the peace of mind you will get from knowing that you are free from debt cannot be overlooked.

Credibe company logo.

Compare rate offers from 13 lenders

Variable APR from 1.80% - 9.99% with auto-debit

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Cons of Repaying in School

Time / Focus: To start repaying loans, you have to have income and to have income, you need a part-time job. This will take time and attention away from your studies, which can affect your grades.

Stress: College can feel like a juggling act sometimes. Between classes, study, activities, hanging out with friends, and part-time jobs, adding student loan repayments on top of it can frazzle a student’s nerves.

Some students need that 6-month grace period, others can handle the balancing act while they’re still in school.

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.74% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.89% - 5.90%*
Fixed APR: 2.50% - 6.00%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.98% - 7.04%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 6.22%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 6.52%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.79%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.89%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS

*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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