Managing Undergraduate Loans

Status of Undergraduate Loans

If you borrowed federal student loans prior to medical school, those loans will normally be placed in an in-school deferment once you are enrolled at least half time in medical school. If your loans do not get placed into an in-school deferment automatically, and you receive notification from your loan servicer (the manager of your loan account) that loan payments are due, contact the financial aid staff or the registrar at your school to obtain verification of your enrollment status.  Once your servicer receives this verification, they will then place your undergraduate loans into the appropriate deferment status.

If you do not know the servicer of your federal student loans, log in to your Federal Student Aid account.

As an undergraduate student, you may have qualified for federal Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loans.  With subsidized loans, the federal government pays the interest on the loan while the borrower is enrolled in school, during periods of qualifying grace or deferment, and sometimes (depending on the repayment plan) during repayment.  However, with unsubsidized loans, the borrower is responsible for the interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full. 

Federal student loans normally have a six-month grace period. If you used your six-month grace period on your undergraduate loans before starting medical school, you will not be eligible for an additional grace period for those loans after graduating from medical school.  

Before graduating from medical school, you will need to contact your loan servicer to either select a repayment plan for the undergraduate loans that don’t have a grace period or request a deferment or forbearance to postpone payment. With a deferment, the government will continue to pay the interest on subsidized loans; however, with a forbearance, all loan types (subsidized and unsubsidized) will accrue interest.

Private loans are different than federal student loans and may have different repayment terms, interest rates, and requirements.  If you borrowed private loans as an undergraduate student, contact the lender of the private loan to find out what your repayment obligations are while enrolled in medical school. If you do not know the lender of your private loan(s), review your credit report at  You can also review the promissory note that you signed when you agreed to the terms and conditions when borrowing the loan to obtain this information.