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Repaying Your Loans

Repayment Plans

You can choose from among several repayment plans. How much you pay each month and how long it takes you to repay your loans will depend on the plan you choose. Generally, you’ll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan.

Standard Repayment

  • You pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full.
  • Payment amounts will change each year if you have a variable interest rate on your loan.
  • You must pay at least $50 per month.
  • You have up to 10 years to repay your loans.
  • Your monthly payment may be higher than under other plans.

Extended Repayment

  • You can’t owe on a federal student loan taken out before October 7, 1998.
  • You must owe more than $30,000 in federal student loans.
  • Your payments are fixed or graduated.
  • You have up to 25 years to repay your loans.

Graduated Repayment

  • Payments start small and increase over time.
  • No installment can be more than three times greater than any other installment.

Pay As You Earn (Direct Loans only)

  • Your monthly payment is calculated on the basis of your discretionary income, which is the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence.
  • Loans must have been made after September 30, 2007, and you must have received a loan disbursement after September 30, 2011.
  • Your loan repayment term is 20 years.
  • Parent Direct PLUS Loans are not eligible for Pay As You Earn.

Revised Pay As You Earn (Direct Loans only)

  • Your monthly payment is 10% of your discretionary income, which is the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence.
  • Your loan repayment term is 20 or 25 years.
  • Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible for Revised Pay As You Earn.

Income-Sensitive Repayment (FFELP loans only)

  • You must have FFELP loans made before July 1, 2010.
  • Your payment amount is based on your expected total gross monthly income.
  • You must provide income information each year.

Income-Based Repayment (IBR)

  • Your monthly payment is capped based on your income and family size.
  • Your monthly payment amount must be less than the monthly standard repayment amount.
  • You have up to 25 years to repay your federal student loans.
  • If you make 25 years of on-time payments, the balance of the loan is cancelled.

Parent PLUS or Consolidation Loans that repaid a parent PLUS Loan are not eligible for IBR. The U.S. Department of Education provides an IBR Fact Sheet in PDF format.

Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) (Direct Loans only)

  • Your monthly payment is calculated on the basis of adjusted gross income, family size and the total amount of Direct Loans.
  • Your monthly payment is the lesser of:
    • the amount you would pay if you repaid the loan in 12 years, multiplied by a percentage based on your annual income.
    • 20% of your monthly discretionary income.
  • The unpaid interest will be capitalized once each year (no more than 10% of the total you owed when you entered repayment).
  • You have up to 25 years to repay your federal student loans.
  • If you make 25 years of on-time payments, the balance of the loan is cancelled (less deferment or forbearance time).

Parent Direct PLUS Loans are not eligible for ICR.