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Borrower Obligations and Exit Interviews

Your obligations as a student loan borrower may begin while you are in school.

Make optional in-school payments

With the exception of NU Loans issued to undergraduate parents, which require repayment upon disbursement, repayment of the loan principal begins at graduation or separation from Northwestern.

However, some loans accrue interest immediately upon disbursement. If you make student loan interest payments, you may be eligible to deduct all or a portion of the amount paid on your federal income tax return.

For NU Loans, interest left unpaid will be capitalized following the loan's grace period. That means that the accrued interest is added to the outstanding principal balance of the loan. From that point forward, interest is assessed on the new, higher principal balance.

Loan Type Interest accrual begins Principal repayment begins
Student NU Loans Upon disbursement, but interest payments are optional until graduation. After six-month grace period following graduation or separation.
Parent NU Loans Upon disbursement; payments are required at this point. Upon disbursement. If payments do not remain current, you may not be approved for the loan in subsequent academic years.
Endowed Loans Upon disbursement, but interest payments are optional until graduation. After grace period (repayment starts at six months with a minimum payment of $100.00) following graduation or separation.

Federal regulations require all borrowers of federal student loans to complete an exit process before graduation, but Northwestern encourages all student loan borrowers (even those with non-federal loans) to complete an exit process. See the Exit Counseling page for more information.