Federal loan funds which are returned within 120 days of disbursement will have all origination fees and accrued interest negated off of the amount returned. Returning monies this way will directly reduce the principal of the loan. Monies returned after the 120-day window has passed will be treated as a pre-payment and will pay interest before principal.
If you have unneeded funds from your student loan refund and it is within 120 days of disbursement, it is financially smart to return that money. If you anticipate having unneeded funds following a future disbursement, you can request that the Office of Financial Aid cancel or reduce the upcoming disbursement.
Steps to take to return federal student loan funds:
- Go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and click "Financial Aid Review"
- On the next screen, log in using your FSA ID.
- You will see a summary of your loans. To see the details of each loan, click on the number to the left of each loan.
- Near the bottom of the Loan Details screen is the name and contact information of the loan’s servicer.
- Contact the loan’s servicer and tell them that you want to return unneeded funds within the 120-day disbursement window so the return will reduce the loan’s principal. Make clear to the servicer that you are not “making a payment”; you are returning unused funds and want the return credited against the principal of your loan, with the origination fees and accrued interest negated.
- Follow up in a month or so by logging into NSLDS and checking the balance of the loan to make sure the servicer reported the reduction.