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What to do While Your Loans are in Grace.

There's a six-month period between when you leave school and when you are required to start paying back your student loans. This is called your grace period.

The grace period is intended to help you adjust to life beyond school and figure out your finances before you begin making payments. This is the time to review the repayment plan you chose during exit counseling and begin factoring your payments into your budget. If it looks like the plan you chose will no longer work for you, there is still time to review additional repayment options. However, while you are not required to make payments during your loan’s grace period, you have the option to pay down your student loans including paying down interest on any unsubsidized loans, which will save you money in the long run.

Over the course of this six-month period, there are simple yet vital steps you can do to fully prepare for paying back your student loans, which we've outlined below.

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Step 1: Understanding Your Loan Stages

Make sure you understand the stages of your student loan, especially the grace and repayment stages.

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Step 2: Your Nelnet.com Account

Create your Nelnet.com account and review your account information to make sure it's accurate. This ensures that you're getting all the important messages you need from us about your account.

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Step 3: Watch For Emails From Nelnet

Throughout the life of your loans, we'll send you important and helpful information about your loan, such as your balance, payment amounts, and more.

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Step 4: Eligibility and Criteria

If the repayment plan you chose during exit counseling no longer fits your budget, now is the time to review other available options. Begin researching all the repayment plan options available, so you can ultimately choose the right one for you.

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Step 5: Sign Up for Auto Debit

Auto debit automatically debits your account each month, so you don't have to worry about late payments.

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Step 6: Consider eStatements

You should also decide whether you'd like paper invoices or eStatements. We vote for eStatements—it helps saves trees AND time!

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Step 7: Watch for Your First Statement

Watch for your very first statement, which should arrive about three weeks before your first payment is due.

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Step 8: Entering Repayment

Make your first payment!

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