After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment at a participating school, generally you have a “grace period” before you must begin repayment:
For Federal Perkins Loans, the grace period is nine months. For FFEL Stafford Loans and Direct Stafford Loans, the grace period is six months. If your parents borrow a FEEL PLUS Loan or a Direct Plus Loan for you, there is no grace period; the first payment on these loans is generally due within 60 days after the final loan disbursement.
If you should return to school at least half time before the grace period ends, you again may postpone loan repayment while you are in school, and you will be entitled to a full grace period when you terminate enrollment or drop below half-time enrollment status. Once the grace period ends, however, you are in repayment status and must request a deferment if you want to postpone repayment.
Federal student loans are real loans, just like car loans or mortgages. You cannot just get out of repaying a student loan if your financial circumstances become difficult any more than you could get out of a car loan or mortgage, unless you qualify for bankruptcy. But, it is very difficult to have federal student loans discharged in bankruptcy; this happens only rarely.
Also, you cannot cancel your student loans if you did not get the education you expected, did not get the job you expected, or did not complete your education, unless you leave school for a reason that qualifies you for a discharge of your loan.
Federal student loans can be discharged (canceled). A discharge releases you from all obligations to repay the loan. In the next paragraphs are lists of reasons why your loan could be discharged. They are separated into reasons for a discharge of a Direct loan and reasons for a discharge of a Perkins loan.
Direct Loan and FEEL:
If the referral conference decision is to evaluate, it may be necessary to initiate a temporary placement for the student if agreed upon by the parent and the school district.
To initiate the entire process, a letter should be sent to the principal requesting a referral of the child for special education testing. A request should be made for a conference and supporting medical and other records may be attached. In any case, all records should be brought to the conference. If the child is aged zero to two, the letter should be addressed to the appropriate Early Intervention Case Service Coordinator listed in Appendix III. If the child is aged three to four, the letter should be addressed to the relevant Education Cooperative.
For a Federal Perkins Loan, default occurs if you do not make an installment payment when due or do not comply with the promissory note’s other terms. Default for a Direct Loan occurs if you become 270 days’ delinquent (if you are making monthly payments).