What happens to my Loans if I take a semester off?

Marilyn Rodriguez Updated by Marilyn Rodriguez

Student loan lenders are notified each semester when students register for classes. Lenders are notified if/when students fail to register, or if the number of hours they register for falls below half time, or six credit hours, per semester.

As a result, these actions can trigger a repayment notice, because most loans become due at that point. Federal student loans generally offer a six-month grace period, so a single semester off may not affect the timing of the loan repayment.

If a student withdraws, the Department of Education requires that an "Exit counseling" be completed. This information prepares you to repay your federal student loan(s).
If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized, or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:
  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school

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