There are no prepayment penalties on federal student loans or private student loans. You can make extra payments on your student loans or pay them off in-full without paying a fee or other penalty.
To make a payment, contact the loan’s servicer. For federal student loans, you can find your loan servicer using the student access portal to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). To log in to NSLDS, you’ll need your FSA ID.
For private student loans, you can find your servicer on your credit report. You can get a free copy of your report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Direct Subsidized Loans and Perkins Loans do not accrue any interest while you are enrolled in school at least half-time and during the grace period. If you pay off the balance before the grace period ends, you’ll repay just the amount borrowed, plus any loan fees. That would make the loan interest-free!
Paying extra each month (or making an extra payment per year) will pay off the loan sooner and reduce the total interest that would have added up.
In this example, paying an extra $100 each month saves more than $1,400 in interest and cuts the length of the loan in half:
When making an extra payment, include a letter telling your servicer to apply the extra payment to the unpaid balance on the loan with the highest interest rate (if there are multiple loans in your account). If you don’t, the servicer might apply the extra payment to the following month’s payment. If you are signed up for auto-debit, this could even cause the servicer to skip the following month’s payment.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created a template for the letter to your student loan servicer: Download the Word document.
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