Student Loan Myth III: As long as I’m in school, I never have to make payments

We now come to the final installment of our first section.  This one is mainly the fault of financial aid departments either through misinformation or laziness to give the entire truth.

What you think happens. You have a lot on your plate and school doesn’t really fit in.  However you don’t want to start payments so you stay for one class.  After all at your aid meeting the counselor told you that you won’t have to start making payments until six months after you are out of school.  Since you are still in school you are covered and don’t have the stress of an 18 credit workload.

What actually happens. It is probably easier when explaining to most that while you are in school payments are deferred instead of saying “as long as you are enrolled at least half-time at a Department of Education approved school.”  The second one doesn’t tend to roll off the tongue.  However it is still the truth.  You must be halftime and if you are not you will be reported as less than half time and will enter repayment or your grace period.

Where there may be a morsel of truth to this.  Really there is no alternate reality to this one.  But do remember every school’s definition of half time is different.  I have seen everything on the gamut.  One university truth though is one class is rarely half time.  The best way to find out if you qualify is talk to you school as they can give you the scoop on where you stand.