Fast Fact

Did you know that you can deduct up to $2,500 on your taxes for the interest you paid on your student loan?

Source: The College Board, 2010

Repayment Plans

Sometimes the right repayment plan makes all the difference in your ability to pay your student loan. The options are flexible, and there's sure to be one that will work for you.

Be aware that these repayment plans are not available on all loans, so check with your lender/loan servicer to find out which repayment options are available to you.

Need help?
Use our Repayment Plan Estimator to see what plan will best fit your needs.

Repayment Plan Details
Standard

This is the plan most borrowers will have when they enter repayment, unless they request otherwise.

  • Your monthly payment amount remains the same throughout the life of the loan.
  • The minimum monthly payment amount is $50, but it may be higher depending on the amount you borrowed.
  • If your loan has a variable interest rate, your monthly payment amount may change slightly if the annual interest rate increases or decreases.
  • The maximum repayment term is 10 years.
Graduated

This repayment plan was designed for borrowers who expect to make more money as they progress in their careers.

  • Monthly payments start low and then increase later in repayment.
  • Monthly payments are initially interest-only and are smaller than those for the level repayment plan.
  • The maximum repayment term is 10 years.
Pay As You Earn
(for Federal Direct Loan Program loans only)

This plan helps borrowers who may be experiencing financial hardship manage their monthly payments.

  • You must qualify for Pay As You Earn. Your monthly payments are calculated based on your adjusted gross income (individually or with your spouse, as applicable) and family size.
  • You must re-apply annually.
  • Pay As You Earn offers loan forgiveness to borrowers who still have a loan balance after 20 years.
Income-Based (IBR)

This plan helps borrowers who may be experiencing financial hardship manage their monthly payments.

  • You must qualify for IBR. Qualification is based on your eligible federal student loan debt, family size, and adjusted gross income (individually or with your spouse, as applicable).
  • You must re-apply annually.
  • IBR may extend repayment past the standard 10 years.
  • IBR offers loan forgiveness to borrowers who still have a loan balance after 25 years.
Income-Contingent
(for Federal Direct Loan Program loans only)

This plan is designed to make repayment easier for students who pursue careers in fields that have lower salaries, for example, public service.

  • The monthly payment is based on your adjusted gross income (individually or with your spouse, as applicable) and family size.
  • The monthly payment initially covers at least the interest that accrues each month until official payment amount is calculated.
  • The maximum repayment period is 25 years.
  • This plan offers loan forgiveness of any remaining balance after 25 years.
Income-Sensitive
(for Federal Family Education Loan Program loans only)

This plan is designed to make repayment easier for students who pursue careers in fields that have lower salaries, for example, public service.

  • The monthly payment amount is based on your monthly gross income.
  • You must re-apply annually.
  • You will need to submit documentation (pay stubs) of your income from all sources.
  • The maximum repayment term is 10 years.
25-Year Extended

Borrowers can make smaller monthly payments by extending the standard 10-year repayment term to 25 years.

This option is available only to borrowers with:

  • Loans that were first disbursed on/after October 7, 1998
  • A current loan balance of $30,000 or higher on FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program) loans or FDLP (Federal Direct Loan Program) loans

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