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What the Graduated Repayment Period means for you

The Graduated Repayment Period lets you make interest-only payments for one year after your separation or grace period ends. It’s available for students with a Smart Option Student Loan who have graduated from a degree-granting institution. You have to request it during a certain time and meet all of the qualifications.

Your billing statements will have 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.


  • Your 12 interest-only payments will be lower than your principal and interest payments would be otherwise, so it may help you with your budget when you’re establishing yourself in your career.


  • It’s not automatic. You need to request to enroll in the Graduated Repayment Period within a specific time period—from two months before the end of your separation or grace period to two months after you begin principal and interest payments.
  • Your payments following the Graduated Repayment Period will be higher than if you hadn’t participated in it. Your Total Loan Cost will be higher as well.
  • The Graduated Repayment Period is available for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013.

Requesting a Graduated Repayment Period

If you have questions about the Graduated Repayment Period or want to request it, call us at 800-472-5543 (800-4-SALLIE) to see if you’re eligible.

Available for loans made to students attending a degree-granting institution. Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) allows interest-only payments for the initial 12-month period of repayment when the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments (which typically begins six months after graduation) or during the 12-month period after GRP request is granted, whichever is later. At the time of GRP request, the loan must be current and the borrower must have graduated with no interruption in enrollment and not be more than 30 days delinquent on any student loan. The borrower may request GRP only during the two billing periods immediately preceding and the two billing periods immediately after the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments. GRP does not extend the loan term. If approved for GRP, the Current Amount Due that is required to be paid each month after the GRP will be higher than it otherwise would have been without GRP, and the Total Loan Cost will increase.