If I take a leave of absence (LOA), do I have to start repaying my loans

Not necessarily. Federal Direct Stafford loans have a grace period of six months from your last date of attendance before the student must begin repaying the loan. (The Federal Perkins loan has a grace period of nine months.) When you take a leave of absence, you will not have to repay your loan until the entire grace period is used up. If you use up the grace period, however, you will have to begin repaying your loan immediately when you graduate, withdraw, or fall below half-time enrollment. For students in quarterly programs, it would take two consecutive terms (three months each term) to use up the grace period. For semester programs, one term (six months per term) on LOA will use up the grace period.

Posted in: Financial Aid FAQs