Borrower’s Rights & Responsibilities

What you need to know about your loan

You have a right to know the details of your loan (depending on your loan, some of the following might be included as part of your entrance counseling).  Below is what you need to know and must receive from your school, lender or the Direct Loan Servicing Center:

  • The full amount of the loan and the current interest rate.
  • The date you must start repayment.
  • A complete list of any charges you must pay (loan fees) and information on how those charges are collected.
  • Information about the yearly and total amounts you can borrow.
  • Information about the maximum repayment periods and the minimum repayment amount.
  • An explanation of default* and its consequences.
  • An explanation of available options for consolidating your loans and a statement that you can prepay your student loan(s) at any time without a penalty.

Before you leave school

Before you leave school, you will receive the following information about your loan (as part of exit counseling) from your school, lender or the Direct Loan Servicing Center:

  • A current description of your loans, including average anticipated monthly payments.
  • The amount of your total debt (principal and estimated interest), your current interest rate and the total interest charges on your loan.
  • If you have FFEL Loans, the name of the lender or agency that holds your loans, where to send your payments and where to write or call if you have questions.
  • If you have Direct Loans, the address and telephone number of the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Servicing Center.
  • An explanation of the fees you might be charged during the repayment period, such as late charges and collection or litigation costs if you’re delinquent or in default.*
  • A reminder of available options for loan consolidation and a reminder that you can prepay your loan without penalty at any time.
  • A description of applicable deferment, forbearance and discharge (cancellation) provisions.
  • Repayment options and advice about debt management that will help you in making your payments.
  • Notification that you must provide your expected permanent address and the name and address of your expected employer.
  • Notification that you must also provide any corrections to your school’s records concerning your name, Social Security number, references and driver’s license number (if you have one).

Grace period

If you are attending school at least half-time,* you have a set period of time after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time* status before you must begin repayment on a Stafford or Perkins Loan. This period of time is called a grace period.

  • You will receive a grace period before your repayment period begins on a Stafford or Perkins Loan.
  • Your grace period will be six or nine months depending on the type of loan.
  • PLUS Loans do not have a grace period.  Repayment typically begins 60 days after the final disbursement for that year.  For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Education (for Direct PLUS Loans) at 1-800-848-0979.  For PLUS Loans issued under the FFEL Program, please contact your loan servicer. 
  • If you are in active military duty for more than 30 days, the grace period will be delayed.

Loan repayment schedule

Your school, lender or the Direct Loan Servicing Center, as appropriate, must give you a loan repayment schedule that states:

  • when your first payment is due,
  • the number and frequency of payments, and
  • the amount of each payment.

Sale of loan

If you or your parents borrow under the FFEL Program, you (or your parents, or graduate and professional degree students for PLUS Loans) must be notified when the loan is sold if the sale results in making payments to a new lender or agency. Both the old and new lender must provide this notification. You must be given:

  • the identity of the new lender or agency holding the loan and
  • the address where you or your parents must send payments, and the telephone numbers of both the old and new lender or agency.