Repayment plans

Choose the right plan for your situation

Selecting the right repayment plan depends on your financial goals and your situation.

Standard repayment is generally a 10-year term and 120 equal monthly payments.

If you want smaller monthly payments, graduated or extended repayment may work for you, if you are eligible.

Make it a habit to review your repayment plan every year to make sure it's still a good fit for you.

Repayment plan comparison calculator

Follow the link below to the U.S. Department of Education's repayment plan comparison calculator and find the payment plan that fits your financial situation.

Repayment plan comparison calculator

Get in-depth information on federal student aid programs, applying for financial aid, and repaying student loans at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website.

Standard repayment

Standard repayment allows you to pay your loan(s) over 10 years in 120 equal monthly installments. Because you begin paying down the principal balance immediately, standard repayment may cost you less over the life of the loan compared to some other plans.

Key features of standard repayment:

  • The same payments each month
  • Minimum $50 payment amount until the loan is paid in full
  • Maximum 10-year term for Stafford and PLUS loans, with a three-year extension if a loan balance remains because of a variable interest rate
  • Automatically entered unless a different repayment plan is selected

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Graduated repayment

Graduated repayment is designed for those who have a low salary early in their repayment period, but anticipate higher incomes in the future. Payments start low and gradually increase over time.

Graduated repayment is a compromise between standard repayment and the higher lifetime costs of extended repayment.

Key features of graduated repayment:

  • Lower monthly payments that increase over time
  • No payment is more than three times the lowest payment
  • Payments must cover interest
  • Maximum 10-year term for Stafford and PLUS loans, with a three-year extension if a loan balance remains because of a variable interest rate

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Extended repayment

Borrowers with more than $30,000 in federal student loans through a single loan program, can lower their monthly payments by extending their payments for up to 25 years. While it does save money in the short term, extended repayment may create higher lifetime costs. This is due to the fact that more interest will accrue on the loan balance and the borrower will make payments over a longer period of time.

Key features of extended repayment:

  • Designed for borrowers with more than $30,000 in federal student loan debt in a single loan program (i.e., FFEL or Direct Loan)
  • Lowers monthly payments by extending the loan term up to 25 years
  • Fixed or graduated (increasing over time) payments
  • Much higher lifetime costs

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