Lower Your Payment With a New Repayment Plan
Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Lower Your Payments
Need a lower monthly payment? Want to make sure your student loan payment best fits your budget? Many repayment plans are available, and we can help you determine which is best for your situation.
In general, unless you are having trouble making payments, you should explore the Standard and Extended Repayment Plans.
Having difficulty making payments and want to see how a different repayment plan could potentially lower your payment? Log in to your account and click Lower My Payments on the left to try our interactive calculators. Just enter your data and see how the numbers stack up! Of course, you can also call us 24/7 at 888.486.4722.
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See how your Repayment Plan options stack up. This PDF spells out eligibility, loan terms, advantages, and other good-to-know details.
Standard Repayment Plan
The most common repayment plan is Standard Repayment. It spreads equal payments over 10 years. Generally, this is the most economical repayment plan, and it is set up for everyone who is about to begin making payments but has not yet selected a different repayment plan option.
On a Graduated Repayment Plan, payments start low and gradually increase over the years, making this a potentially wise choice for young professionals who expect to earn more money as they advance in their careers. Payment amounts increase every two years until the loan balance is paid in full. You will pay more interest on this plan than on the Standard Repayment Plan.
Do you have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFELP or Direct Loans? Then the Extended Repayment Plan may be for you. This plan makes monthly payments more affordable, but it will take a longer amount of time to pay off the loan (up to 25 years), and you will pay more interest. Under the Extended Repayment Plan, you may choose standard payments (equal payments over the payment term) or graduated payments (payments that increase every two years).
For FFELP loans only, this plan denotes annual adjustment to your minimum monthly payment, based on your monthly gross income. You may choose this plan for up to five years, after which your account will defer to either the Standard or Graduated Repayment Plan.
If you demonstrate partial financial hardship, you may qualify for this repayment plan. Partial financial hardship occurs when payments on the Standard Repayment Plan are greater than 15% of the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty line, based on your state and family size. Parent PLUS loans and consolidation loans (made up of underlying parent PLUS loans) do not qualify for this plan. Use our Income-Based Repayment calculator to see if this plan is right for you.
For Direct Loans only, on this plan, your payments are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total loan balance. Payments are extended over 25 years with this plan. Parent PLUS loans and consolidation loans containing parent PLUS loans that entered repayment before 2006 do not qualify. Calculate what your payments will be on this plan.
For Direct Loans only, on this plan, your payments are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total federal student loan balance. If you demonstrate a partial financial hardship, you may qualify for this repayment plan. Partial financial hardship occurs when payments on the Standard Repayment Plan are greater than 10% of the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty line, based on your state and family size. You must have at least one eligible Direct Loan that had a disbursement on or after October 1, 2011, to be eligible for this repayment plan. If you had any student loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2007, that had an active balance as of October 1, 2007, you are not eligible for this plan. Additionally, private loans, Federal Perkins Loans, FFELP Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans that repaid Direct or Federal Parent PLUS Loans or loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2007, are not eligible.