Repaying Loans

Paying Back Your Student Loans

The timeframe for loan repayment to begin varies depending on the type of loan. Students are strongly advised to contact their loan servicer(s) for the exact date that repayment will begin.

  • Federal Direct Loans – 6 months after graduation or withdrawal from program
  • Health Professions Loans & Loans for Disadvantaged Students – 12 months after graduation or withdrawal from program

Federal loan servicer contact information is available on⤷. HPL and LDS loans are generally serviced by the institution who issued the loan. At UF, students should refer to the University Bursar’s website⤷ for servicer contact information.

If you have a private loan, you should contact your lender to determine when you will be required to start paying back your loan.

Please note: Your loan servicer(s) generally will notify you in advance of your repayment start date. If you do not receive any notification, you are still responsible for the payment! You are highly encouraged to set up an online account with each of your loan servicers to facilitate staying on top of your loan obligations.

Loan Repayment Programs

Students with federal Direct Loans are eligible for several types of repayment plans⤷, including income-driven repayment plans.

Students with Health Professions Student Loans and/or Loans for Disadvantaged Students awarded by UF should visit the University Bursar’s website⤷ for information on repayment. Students with HPL and/or LDS loans awarded by another institution should contact that institution for repayment information.

The American Dental Association has compiled a list of state and federal loan repayment and forgiveness programs ⤷for which dental graduates may be eligible.

Repayment Estimators


Direct Loans, Health Professions Student Loans, and Loans for Disadvantaged Students are automatically deferred for degree-seeking students while they are enrolled on a half-time or higher basis. You are not required to make payments on loans that are in deferment. Deferments do not negatively affect your credit score.

Please note: Private loans may or may not be deferred while you are in school. If you have a private loan, check the terms and conditions of your loan to determine if you will have an in-school deferment. Contact your lender with any questions.

Federal Loan Consolidation

Loan consolidation is the process of combining several federal loans into one new federal loan. The old loans are paid off, and the student pays toward the single Consolidation Loan instead.

Potential Advantages

  • Consolidation offers convenience.
    • After consolidation, you have one loan, one loan servicer, one payment, and one place to file forms.
  • Consolidation converts non-Direct loans into one Direct Loan.
    • May allow entire balance to be repaid with Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), as only Direct loans may be repaid with PAYE and REPAYE.
    • Having a Direct Loan maximizes your potential forgiveness amount in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
      • Only Direct loans are eligible for PSLF – See below for more information on PSLF
    • Your repayment term may be extended to 30 years, lowering monthly payments.

Potential Disadvantages

  • Consolidation partially negates an aggressive repayment strategy.
    • You cannot target your higher interest loans for voluntary or additional payments because you have only one loan at one interest rate.
      • You can still pay early, but you are not getting the best “bang for your buck.”
  • You pay a slightly higher interest rate for a Direct Consolidation Loan.
    • The interest rate on a Direct Consolidation Loan is a “weighted” or blended rate (of all loans being consolidated), rounded up an eighth of a percent (.125%) and fixed for the life of loan.
      • This new rate is not prohibitively higher than previous rates—don’t let it discourage you from consolidating your loans.
  • The first payment on a Direct Consolidation Loan comes due immediately.
    • If you launch the process too early, you lose grace periods on the loans you are consolidating.
  • Federal Perkins and Health Professions Student loan balances lose their subsidized interest status if they are included in the consolidation.

The above information is from the ADEA Educational Debt Management website⤷.

Students considering consolidation should visit the Federal Student Aid website⤷ for more information.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after the borrower has made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Employment with the following types of organizations qualifies for PSLF:

  • Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Other types of not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services.

Loan amounts forgiven under the PSLF Program are not considered income by the Internal Revenue Service. Therefore, borrowers will not have to pay federal income tax on the amount of their Direct Loans that is forgiven after they have made the 120 qualifying payments.

Students should visit⤷ for more information on PSLF.


Did you know that students can monitor their student loans while in school? Iontuition is a free resource for students to manage and monitor federal and private student loans.  Take control of your student loans and improve your financial knowledge with your FREE iontuition account. Visit today to find out more.


The above information is for individuals currently in or starting one of the following programs: AEGD Hialeah, Endodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics.