- Age: 23
- Income: About $400 to $550 per week, through her full-time sales job
- Schooling: Completed five semesters at a 4-year public university
- Major: English
- Loan debt: $9,800 federal
Amber took spring semester off to earn some money. She is caught off guard when her loans go into repayment
Read Amber's story
Away at school, Amber's stress level was at an all-time high. She was so strapped for cash she couldn't concentrate on her studies. So she decided to take spring semester off and work at a sales position in her hometown. She really needed the money, and she was eligible for a commission after the first 6 weeks.
After a couple of months, Amber feels much less stress about her finances. Although she misses school, she is paying her bills on time and even makes regular deposits into her savings account. Then she gets the letter Amber is shocked to learn she needs to start repaying her loans in July! What?!?
Amber is planning to return to school in the fall. She doesn't understand why her loans are due when she hasn't even gotten her degree yet. Amber goes into panic mode and sees her savings disappear in a flash.
How is she going to go back to school if she has nothing left in the bank? Surely the letter is wrong.
Amber just wants to cry
Amber CAN deal with it
- Amber needs to understand what happened. As soon as Amber left school, her 6-month grace period kicked in. Amber didn't realize that the grace period would end before she returns to school in the fall. So she must start making payments on her loans unless she is eligible for a deferment or forbearance.
- Amber may be eligible for an in-school deferment. When Amber returns to school in the fall, she should apply for an in-school deferment. As long as she attends school on at least a half-time basis, she does not need to make any payments on her loans.
- Amber does not get another grace period. Unfortunately, when Amber graduates—or if she takes another break from school—she does not get another grace period. Her loans will go directly into repayment, so she should be prepared to pay.