The Graduated Repayment Period

The Graduated Repayment Period is a benefit that helps you manage your student loan payments when you’re transitioning from school to your career. The Smart Option Student Loan® is the first nationwide private student loan to offer this benefit to students.

What the Graduated Repayment Period means for you

The Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) lets you make interest-only payments for 12 months after your separation or grace period ends. It’s available for students with an eligible Smart Option Student Loan, Graduate School Loan, Health Professions Graduate Loan, MBA Loan, Law School Loan, Medical School Loan, or Dental School Loan.


  • Your 12 months of interest-only payments will be lower than your principal and interest payments would be otherwise.
  • This benefit provides budget flexibility when you’re establishing your career.

Qualifications and considerations

  • The GRP is available for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013, used to pay qualified higher education expenses at a degree-granting institution.
  • Enrolling in the GRP lets you make interest only payments for 12 billing statements.
  • When you request the GRP, your loan must be current (not past due).
  • It’s not automatic. You need to request to enroll in the GRP during the 6 billing periods before and the 12 billing periods immediately after you enter principal and interest repayment.
  • After the GRP ends, you’ll resume making principal and interest payments.
  • Your Total Loan Cost will be higher, but the loan term will remain the same. Your monthly payments after the GRP will be higher than they would have been without it. You can save money over the life of your loan by paying more than the required amount.
  • Once the GRP ends, you won’t be eligible for forbearance or some repayment programs until you make at least 12 required monthly payments or an amount equal to it over 12 months. We reserve the right to modify eligibility requirements.
  • The GRP may affect your eligibility for borrower benefits or repayment incentives that require principal and interest payments, such as cosigner release.

Your billing statements and online account will include a message saying when you can apply for the Graduated Repayment Period. The billing statements will also show which of your loans qualify for the benefit.

If you have questions about the GRP or want to request it, enroll online, chat with us, or call 866-801-3218.

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