Work with your loan servicer to choose a federal student loan repayment plan that’s best for you.

To make your payments more affordable, repayment plans can give you more time to repay your loans or be based on your income.

Repayment Plans

Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time.

Contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan. You can get information about all of the federal student loans you have received and find the loan servicer for your loans using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®).

Use the Repayment Estimator
Repay Your Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans
Repay Your Federal Perkins Loan
Consolidate Your Loans

Use the Repayment Estimator

Before you contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment plans, you can use our Repayment Estimator to get an early look at which plans you may be eligible for and see estimates for how much you would pay monthly and overall. 

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Private student loans you may have received are not federal loans and are not included in NSLDS.

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Repay Your Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans 

 

Overview of Direct Loan and FFEL Program Repayment Plans

Repayment Plan

Eligible Loans

Monthly Payment and

Time Frame

Quick Comparison

Standard Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans

Payments are a fixed amount of at least $50 per month.

Up to 10 years

You'll pay less interest for your loan over time under this plan than you would under other plans.

Graduated Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans

Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years.

Up to 10 years

You'll pay more for your loan over time than under the 10-year standard plan.

Extended Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans

Payments may be fixed or graduated.

Up to 25 years

  • Your monthly payments would be lower than the 10-year standard plan.
  • If you are a
    • Direct Loan borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans.
    • FFEL borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans.

For example, if you have $35,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans, and $10,000 in Direct Loans, you can use the extended repayment plan for your FFEL Program loans, but not for your Direct Loans.

  • For both programs, you must also be a "new borrower" as of Oct. 7, 1998.
  • You'll pay more for your loan over time than under the 10-year standard plan.

Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans made to students
  • Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL) that do not include Direct or FFEL PLUS loans made to parents
  • Your maximum monthly payments will be 15 percent of discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence (other conditions apply).
  • Your payments change as your income changes.

Up to 25 years

  • You must have a partial financial hardship.
  • Your monthly payments will be lower than payments under the 10-year standard plan.
  • You'll pay more for your loan over time than you would under the 10-year standard plan.
  • If you have not repaid your loan in full after making the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments, any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven.
  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that do not include (Direct or FFEL) PLUS loans made to parents
  • Your maximum monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence (other conditions apply).
  • Your payments change as your income changes.

Up to 20 years

  •  You must be a new borrower on or after Oct. 1, 2007, and must have received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011.
  • You must have a partial financial hardship.
  • Your monthly payments will be lower than payments under the 10-year standard plan.
  • You'll pay more for your loan over time than you would under the 10-year standard plan.
  • If you have not repaid your loan in full after you made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying monthly payments, any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven.
  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

Income-Contingent Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Payments are calculated each year and are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans.
  • Your payments change as your income changes.

Up to 25 years

 

  • You'll pay more for your loan over time than under the 10-year standard plan.
  • If you do not repay your loan after making the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments, the unpaid portion will be forgiven.
  • You may have to pay income tax on the amount that is forgiven.

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • FFEL PLUS Loans
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans
  • Your monthly payment is based on annual income.
  • Your payments change as your income changes.

Up to 10 years

  • You'll pay more for your loan over time than you would under the 10-year standard plan.
  • Each lender's formula for determining the monthly payment amount under this plan can vary.

Repay Your Federal Perkins Loan

Perkins Loan repayment plan options are not the same as those for Direct Loan Program or FFEL Program loans. Check with your school for more information on Perkins Loan repayment plans.

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Consolidate Your Loans

If you have multiple federal student loans, you can consolidate them into a single Direct Consolidation Loan. This may simplify repayment if you are currently making separate loan payments to different loan holders or servicers, as you'll only have one monthly payment to make. There may be tradeoffs, however, so you'll want to learn about the advantages and possible disadvantages of consolidation before you consolidate.

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