A grace period is the time in between graduation (or dropping below half-time enrollment) and the time your first payment is due. The grace period for Direct Stafford Loans is six months, while the grace period on other federal student loans may be different depending on the type of loan. If you are returning to school on at least a half-time basis in the fall and have previously used the full grace period on your loan, you can request a summer bridge extension to cover payments due between the spring and fall terms.
Deferment allows you to temporarily stop making your federal student loan payments for a specified period of time. You must continue to make payments until you receive confirmation that the deferment has been applied to your account. If you do not return to school or when you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment in the future, the loan will go into immediate repayment since the grace period on your loan has already been exhausted. Please note that if you take out any new Direct Stafford Loan in the future, it will receive a six-month grace period.
Keep in mind that any unpaid interest may be capitalized (added to your principal balance) at the expiration of a deferment or forbearance, thereby increasing the total cost of your loan(s); however, you have the option to make payments at any time.
If you are in need of a summer bridge extension, you can contact us directly to make the request.