Let me clarify. You must be enrolled half time or greater as defined by your school (usually 6 credits) to qualify for an in school deferment on your federal Stafford loan. If you fall below that half time status then expect a bill in the mail six months later. That is the letter of the law, but things don’t always go as scripted.
I have spoke to many students who took a semester off and their lender had no idea. Their status remained “in school” the whole time. I’ve spoke to others whose 6 months elapsed but never received a bill. That is the scary one. It is technically YOUR responsibility to contact your lender regarding your payment and when it is due. You can slip months behind if you don’t stay on top of that. Don’t assume just because you didn’t get a bill that a payment isn’t due.
If you are not out of school for 6 months before you go back then you should be fine. They will deduct that time from your 6-month bank and when you do graduate you will just receive that first payment a lot sooner than students who did not take a semester off.
It is your responsibility, and you definitely want to contact your lender to keep abreast of your status and make sure it is where it needs to be.
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