Understand Student Loan Repayment Plans
Repayment plans determine your monthly student loan payment amount, how many years it will take to pay back what you borrowed, and how much interest you will pay over the life of your loan.
Keep in mind, the longer it takes to pay back your loan, the more interest will accrue and increase the overall cost of your loan.
Which Repayment Plan Is Right for You?
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Click to read information on Extended
- Click to read information on Income-Driven Repayment plans
Standard repayment has monthly payments over 10 years.
Standard repayment plans include making monthly payments over 10 years. Generally, you will pay less interest over the life of your loan under a standard plan than an extended or income-driven plan.
- Standard/Level: You make the same monthly payment amount each month for 10 years.
- Graduated: Your monthly payments start lower and get larger over the repayment period, usually increasing every two years. This may be a good option if you need a lower payment now, but expect to make more money in the future. Be aware that your payments will go towards interest only—not principal—in the beginning of the repayment plan.
Extended repayment allows you to pay your loans over 25 years.
Extended repayment plans may be available if your total loan balance is over $30,000 in either Direct loans or FFELP, not a combination. These plans allow you to pay your loans over 25 years instead of 10. They may be good options if you need a lower monthly payment than a standard plan offers.
- Extended Level: Your payments are the same each month.
- Extended Graduated: Your monthly payments start lower and get larger over the repayment period, usually increasing every two years. This may be a good option if you need a lower payment now, but expect to make more money in the future. Be aware that your payments will go towards interest only—not principal—in the beginning of the repayment plan.
Income-driven repayment plans allow payments based on the amount you earn over a 20- or 25-year period.
Income-driven repayment plans allow you to make monthly payments that are based on your income—as you earn more, you pay more. In addition to your income, eligibility for these plans is based on your family size and the types of loans you have. You'll need to provide some income information, such as a tax return, to qualify, and you'll also need to submit your tax information each year to remain in one of these plans.back to graphs
Learn more and change your repayment plan » If you aren't already logged in, you'll be asked to do so. Then, the next few pages will help you decide which standard payment plan is best for your situation. Once you've decided which plan is right for you, we'll guide you through the steps to change your plan.
Not finding the right repayment option?
Not everyone follows the same path while in school, or afterward when you're expected to pay back your loans.