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How Payments Work

When it Comes to Making Payments on Your Student Loans, It's Easy to Get Started.

Statement and Due Date

We send you your monthly billing statement for each account about three weeks before a payment is due. Your monthly statement and account will show your current amount due and due date for that account. For more information on your monthly billing statements, visit Statement Overview.

If you have multiple accounts, it's possible you may have different due dates. Log in to your account to view your most up-to-date account information. You can call us anytime to request that we align the due dates on all of your loans to a date between the 1st and 28th of each month.

IMPORTANT: If you have both Department of Education-owned (account number starts with E) loans and loans owned by other lenders (account number starts with D or J), you must send your payments separately to the address on the front of your statement to have them applied correctly to your loans. If you make your monthly payment online, you're able to submit a single payment for all of your accounts.

Statement and Due Date

How Interest Works

Interest rates for federal student loans are set annually by Congress. Most student loans (including all federal loans) use a method of interest accrual known as simple interest. Simple interest is a formula that multiplies your loan balance times the interest rate.

Interest accrues daily throughout the life of your loans. To find out how much interest accrues daily, simply multiply your current principal balance times the interest rate.

To calculate your daily interest accrual, use the following formula:
(Current Principal Balance x Interest Rate) ÷ 365.25

Translated, this equation means that your current principal balance multiplied by the interest rate and then divide that number by 365.25 (the number of days in one year).

How Interest Works
Late Payments

Late Payments

If you do not pay the current amount due, every loan group may become delinquent, reported to consumer reporting agencies, be subject to a late fee (if applicable)* and could lose eligibility for borrower benefits and repayment incentives. We encourage you to pay as much as you can, because interest accrues on your outstanding principal balance.

* Note: The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late or returned payment fees.


Any payment not received within 15 days of the due date may incur a late fee (if applicable)* of up to six cents for each dollar that’s late, as described in the terms of your promissory note. Your late fee (if applicable)* is calculated based on the unpaid portion of your regular monthly payment amount. We may also charge certain reasonable costs incurred in collecting the loan. Costs can include, but are not limited to, attorney fees and court costs. Returned payments may be assessed a $5.00 fee (if applicable)*.

If you are charged fees*, they are not included in your current amount due. If fees* have been assessed to your account, when you pay your current amount due, which includes the outstanding interest and principal balance, your payment is first applied to your interest and fees* and then to your principal balance. This reduces the amount of your payment applied to your principal balance, which could increase the total cost of your loan. You may reduce this extra cost by paying more than your current amount due to cover the amount of your outstanding fees*.

*Note: The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late or returned payment fees.


How Your Regular Monthly Payment Amount is Determined

Your regular monthly payment amount is calculated to allow you to pay off your loan within your loan term. This regular monthly payment amount is evaluated periodically to ensure you'll still pay off your loan within your loan term

Learn more about your
regular monthly payment

Your Payment Could be $0

Income-driven repayment plans can be a viable solution for reducing your regular monthly payment amount, in some cases even making your monthly payment amount as little as $0 a month. Under these plans, your payment is based on your income.

If you receive a statement for $0 due, it may mean you have paid extra in the past that fully covered this month’s payment amount, or your current repayment plan requires no payment at this time or you are just entering repayment and no payment is due at this time. You can always pay more without penalty, which will reduce your total cost of borrowing and save you money in the long run.

If you are not required to make a payment this month, you won’t be considered past due if you don’t make a payment or pay less than your regular monthly payment amount. However, we encourage you to continue paying as much as you can, because interest may continue to accrue on your outstanding principal balance.

Learn more about
income-driven repayment plans

Your Payment Could be More Than Usual

Your current amount due may be higher if your most recent payment did not cover the current amount due, your lower repayment plan has expired, or you are on a plan that increases your payment amount incrementally.

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