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Get ready for post-school student loan payments

Your post-school principal and interest loan payments will typically be higher than those you made in school. Here are some ways to prepare for those loan payments:

Get organized
By the time you leave college, you might have a combination of federal and private loans. Make sure you understand how many loans you have, what types of loans they are, their interest rates, and who the lenders are. Creating a simple spreadsheet can help you organize your loans.

Understand what your payments will be
Many undergraduate students are not fully aware of what their future loan payments will be, based on their loan amounts. We can help you estimate your student loan payments.

Choose how to make loan payments
We offer several ways to make your loan payments. Auto debit is the most convenient way. When you enroll, your payments are automatically withdrawn from your authorized bank account each month. Plus, enrolling in auto debit may also qualify you for a .25 percentage point interest rate reduction.

Consider the Graduated Repayment Period
The Graduated Repayment Period gives you time to transition from school to career by making interest-only payments for a year after your loan enters principal and interest repayment.

Get tips for repaying your student loans
Our repayment tips could help you stay organized—and save time and money.

Learn about student loan military benefits

If you’re a servicemember, we have dedicated resources available to help you manage your loans.
Learn about benefits for servicemembers.

What is a separation or grace period for student loan payments

A student loan separation or grace period is the length of time (often six months) after a student is no longer enrolled in school and before principal and interest payments begin. During your separation or grace period, you’ll continue making the same student loan repayments you made in school.

  • If you made in-school student loan payments (say, a fixed payment of $25), you’ll continue to make those payments during the separation period.
  • If you deferred your student loan payments while you were in school, you won’t have scheduled payments during the separation or grace period.

If you aren’t sure whether your Sallie Mae student loan has a separation or grace period, look at the loan documents you signed when you first got your loan, or call us at 800-472-5543 (800-4-SALLIE).

After your separation or grace period, your student loan payments will include both principal and interest. If you want to lower your Total Loan Cost, you can pay more than the Current Amount Due or make extra loan payments.

The borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction benefit. This benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment, if available for the loan.

Available for loans used to pay qualified higher education expenses at a degree-granting institution. The Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) allows interest-only payments for 12 billing periods after principal and interest repayment begins. At the time of the GRP request, the loan cannot be past due. Customers can request the GRP during the six billing periods before and the 12 billing periods immediately after the loan first enters principal and interest repayment. The GRP does not extend the loan term but does increase the Total Loan Cost. Monthly payments after the GRP will be higher than they would have been without it.