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Loan Repayment

How do I defer payment on my prior student loans while I am in school?

  • In school deferment: The Northwestern University Registrar reports your enrollment status each month to the National Student Clearinghouse. Most lender/servicers access the National Student Loan Data System to obtain your current enrollment status. (You can find out who services your federal student loans on the National Student Loan Data System. For private student loans, check your credit report at the Annual Credit Report website.)
  • If you are registered at least half-time (2 credits per term), your lender/servicer should automatically place your loans into in-school deferment.
  • If your lender/servicer requires paper documentation, you can request enrollment verification from the Registrar's Office via CAESAR at Academic Records > Enrollment Verification.
  • If you do not qualify for an in-school deferment, contact your lender/servicer(s) regarding other deferment or forbearance options.

Who do I pay?

You can find out who services your federal student loans on the National Student Loan Data System. For private student loans, check your credit report at the Annual Credit Report website.

Contact your loan servicer(s) to discuss your repayment options, due dates, payment methods, deferments, forbearance, etc. Use the federal repayment estimator to compare your monthly payments under the various repayment plans.

When do I pay back my loans?

When you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment (2 credits per term), your in-school status ends and your grace period (if applicable) begins.
  • Federal Perkins Loans have a grace period of nine months before repayment begins. You will receive repayment amounts and schedules when you leave the university.
  • Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loans have a grace period of six months before repayment begins. Note: If you have loans from a prior enrollment that were in repayment before you returned to school at Northwestern, you will resume making payments for these loans as soon as your in-school deferment ends. Check with your loan servicer(s) to determine when your first payment is due.
  • Federal GradPLUS Loans issued after July 1st, 2008 have a six-month post-enrollment deferment period. Contact your loan servicer(s) regarding GradPLUS Loans issued before July 1st, 2008 to request a deferment.
  • Federal Consolidation Loans have no grace period and will begin immediate repayment.
  • For private loans, contact your loan servicer(s) to determine when your first payment is due and for the specific repayment terms.
  • You can find out who services your federal student loans on the National Student Loan Data System. For private student loans, check your credit report at the Annual Credit Report website.
Contact your loan servicer(s) to discuss your repayment options, due dates, payment methods, deferments, forbearance, etc.

Can I pay off my loans early?

  • Federal loans can be prepaid without penalty. To ensure that your payment is correctly applied, contact your loan servicer(s) for instructions.
  • Most private student loans can also be pre-paid without penalty. Check with your lender regarding your specific loan terms.
You can find out who services your federal student loans on the National Student Loan Data System. For private student loans, check your credit report at the Annual Credit Report website.