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Repayment plans

There are several repayment plans available for Federal student loans. The availability of some repayment plans may vary depending on your outstanding loan balance, type of loan, and repayment term remaining. 

Repayment plan chart

The chart below lists the types of repayment plans available for Federal student loans.

Overview of Student Loan 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
     
  • all Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)

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

 

Up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans). 

All borrowers are eligible for this plan.

 

You’ll pay less 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
     
  • all Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)

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

 

Up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).

 

All borrowers are eligible for this plan.

 

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
     
  • all Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)

Payments may be fixed or graduated.

 

Up to 25 years

  • Your monthly payments will be lower than the 10-year standard plan or the Graduated Repayment 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.

 

  • 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 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income.
     
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.
     
  • If you're married, your spouse's income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return.
     
  • Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 20 or 25 years.
     
  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.
  • 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.
     
  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

 

Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment (REPAYE)

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Direct PLUS loans made to students

 

  • Direct Consolidation Loans that do not include PLUS loans (Direct or FFEL) made to parents
  • Your monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income.

 

  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.

     
  • If you're married, both your and your spouse's income or loan debt will be considered, whether taxes are filed jointly or separately (with limited exceptions).

     
  • Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 20 or 25 years.
  • Any Direct Loan borrower with an eligible loan type may choose this plan.

 

  • Your montly payment can be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.

 

  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

 

  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE)

  • 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.
     
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.
     
  • If you're married, your spouse's income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return.
     
  • Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 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.

Income-Contingent Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Direct PLUS Loans made to students

 

  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Your monthly payment will be the lesser of
    • 20 percent of discretionary income, or
    • the amount you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over 12 years, adjusted according to your income.
       
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans.
     
  • If you're married, your spouse's income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return or you choose to repay your Direct Loans jointly with your spouse.
  • Any Direct Loan borrower with an eligible loan type may choose this plan.
     
  • Your monthly payment can be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.
     
  • You may have to pay income tax on the amount that is forgiven.
     
  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
     
  • Parent borrowers can access this plan by consolidating their Parent PLUS Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

 

  • FFEL PLUS Loans

 

  • FFEL Consolidation Loans
  • Your monthly payment is based on annual income.

 

Up to 15 years

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

 

  • Each lender’s formula for determining the monthly payment amount under this plan can vary. 

Chart adapted from Studentaid.ed.gov

You can change your repayment plan at any time. You may be able to lower your monthly payment by changing the repayment plan to one that will allow you to have a longer repayment period or to one that is based on your income. Forbearance and deferment time periods do not count against the repayment term on your student loan. To discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan, contact your loan servicer.

Repayment estimator

Before you contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment plans, you may want to use a repayment estimator to see which plans best meet your current financial situation. The estimator will also project your monthly payment amount, total interest paid, and total amount paid.